1. Time To Play
2. Die This Day
3. Speed Demon
4. Same Old Same
Scottish Hard Rockers Concrete Kingdoms release their hotly anticipated first EP in August this year. The bands promotional material says that they would appeal to fans of Alter Bridge, Audioslave and Guns N Roses. While that might be true I think their influences draw from a much wider time frame which would include Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Free.
There is a bulging vein of Blues throughout every song. Singer Mark Hawthorne possesses a great set of Rock pipes and the soul and emotion seeps from his every word. I hear shades of everyone from Paul Rodgers to Chester Bennington in his fine voice. But while their music has a sonic lineage back through Rocks greatest bands they are not rooted there. Concrete Kingdoms are very much a 21st Century band.
“Speed Demon” contains multi layered guitar artillery worthy of Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham era of Thin Lizzy. Guitarists Ben Fraser and Mark Faulds could easily moonlight in a Thin Lizzy tribute act, especially one seeking authentic sounds. But given how good this EP is I somehow doubt that they would need to do that in the near future. My favourite song here after a few listens is “Die This Day” which has monumental power and the best screaming guitar sound you can get. EP opener “Time To Play” at times has a feel of late 70s Dr Feelgood in its DNA back when Wilko Johnson was at his peak. The musicianship and strength of “Same Old Same” would not be out of place on a Nazareth album.
Concrete Kingdoms are a band that deserves far more exposure and I damned well hope that they get it!
Website - www.concretekingdoms.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ConcreteKingdomsUK/
Review - Bill Adamson