Kickin Valentina - 'Super Atomic'

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Kickin Valentina - 'Super Atomic'

Nice to see such an honest and well-meaning bunch giving it a shot and starting to create a bit of a buzz.

It is, of course, great to come across bands who are very clearly flying the flag for Rock 'n' Roll. A bit of Blues, a bit of Sleaze, big vocals, kick-ass guitar, fist-pumping rhythms, "fuck you" swagger and Rock 'n' Roll attitude to spare. For some, sweet dreams are made of these and who am I to disagree?! Actually, I don't. In the right combination, these are all things I like too. But you also need songs.

The facts – Kickin' Valentina are an American band whose star seems to be rising. 'Super Atomic' is their long playing follow-up to 2013's eponymous debut EP. Live highlights includes support slots with the likes of Buckcherry, Queensryche, Skid Row, Red Dragon Cartel, Sebastian Bach, Doro, Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns, as well as performances at a whole clutch of U.S. festivals. June 2014 saw them win "the prestigious" Georgia "Rock Band Of The Year" award. Their single 'Get Ready' is used by the Jacksonville Axemen Rugby Team in promotional material and is played during home games, while two tracks from the new album feature in Kely McClung's new horror movie 'Altered'. All augurs well, then, right? Well, yes, if you have enough good songs.

The album's spoken intro, 'Sermon', suggests that KV have no truck with Christian preacher men who decry Rock music as the work of the devil. Or, at least, they might just accept that but take the devil's side. It's hard to tell, though 'Some Kind Of Sex' and 'Dirty Girl' leave you in no in doubt where their extracurricular sympathies lie, and I dread to think what 'Fist 'N' Twist' is about. It's all very Sleaze-ridden, "dark-side-of-Los-Angeles" Hair Rock-inspired bump and grind. Cool if you like it. But you also need songs.

Highlights are opener 'On My Side' (for about ten seconds), the swinging riff and catchy chorus of singles 'Wrong Way' and 'Get Ready' respectively, the stomping groove of 'Anita' (who, apparently, everyone loves), 'Super Atomic Poster Boy' (for the title), and last track 'Dirty Girl' – not because it's particularly special, but because it's the last track. Elsewhere, 'When You're Gone' has a neat bass intro and a blitz of a solos towards the end, while 'Alone' flirts with melody and briefly considers becoming a power ballad.

Clearly, my rather lukewarm response might well put me in the minority here, but as a reviewer you have to call it as you hear it. Nice image, nice sound and nice to see such an honest and well-meaning bunch giving it a shot and starting to create a bit of a buzz. Be that as it may, my humble advice to Kickin' Valentina is this; get some more songs.

Michael Anthony

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