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King King - 'Exile & Grace' Album Review


1. (She Don't) Gimme No Lovin'

2. Heed The Warning

3. Broken

4. Find Your Way Home

5. Tear It All Up

6. Betrayed Me

7. Long Time Running

8. Nobody Knows Your Name

9. I Don't Wanna Lie

The fourth studio album from King King, “Exile & Grace” is released by Manhaton Records on Friday, 13th October, and firmly cements the band as one of our most popular outfits – both recording-wise and live – though it coincides unfortunately with them being off the road due to Alan Nimmo's ongoing throat condition – and also, as it turns out a farewell 'swansong' for keyboard player Bob Fridzema, who has departed to be replaced by the experienced Jonny Dyke.

The album was produced by guitarist and vocalist Alan Nimmo, together with drummer Wayne Proctor, and mixed by Chris Sheldon, who can boast the Foo Fighters, Feeder and Therapy? On his CV. The band's Blues roots are virtually left behind now, and the songs here have an almost 'Classic Rock' feel reminiscent of bands such as Bad Company, Whitesnake and Thunder.

It only remains to mention the excellent Lindsay Coulson on bass – a mainstay of King King since the outset, who provides the 'no frills' rhythm section with Wayne Proctor – the 'engine room' behind the guitar and voice of Alan Nimmo, and Bob Fridzema's tasteful organ and piano work.

The band are down to business on the lead track, “(She Don't) Gimme No Lovin'”, which kicks off with Nimmo's punchy guitar riff and features Fridzema's swirling organ playing; the heavy riff of “Heed The Warning” keeps the tempo up – a track which had its origins in on-stage jams with the legendary John Mayall, when King King were out supporting him on tour.

The stand out for me is the delightful ballad, “Find Your Way Home”, which has the grandoise feel and big chorus hook of American bands such as Journey and REO Speedwagon, and contains sterling performances from all, and an aching vocal from Alan Nimmo. The pace is taken back up on the melodic rocker “Tear It All Up” - the inspiration for the song coming from supporting Thunder at Wembley Arena, and with some help from big brother Stevie.

Elsewhere “Long Time Running” is a swaggering rocker with the guitar and keyboards driven along by the excellent rhythm section; “Nobody Knows Your Name” has a definite Free feel to it – and that can never be a bad thing! “Exile & Grace” ends on a high, with the funky and bouncy “I Don't Want To Lie” - again, with a big chorus and sterling performances from all.

King King are now at the 'top of the tree' after having worked damned hard to get there, and in “Exile & Grace” they have delivered another winner!

Review - Grahame Rhodes

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