Zeroking: Kings Of Self Destruction

Enthusiastic and unfussy yet openly addictive is the only way to describe the latest album from US hard rock band Zeroking.  With an obvious intent to have and give the fullest of best times Kings Of Self Destruction simply leads the ear and emotions on a boisterous and mischievous rampage through insatiable riffs and fully loaded melodic enterprise. It is not the most inventive or ground shaking of releases but it sure is one of the more eagerly enjoyable.

Formed in 2005, the Huntington West Virginia quartet of vocalist Andy Haught, guitarist Shane Day, alongside Paul First and Chris Webb on bass and drums respectively, took no time in garnering strong attention and growing acclaimed from their debut EP Sweet Sale Of Excess in 2006 and the sharing of stages with the likes of Anthrax, Twisted Sister, Bobaflex, Jackyl, Dope, Black Stone Cherry, and Airbourne, as well as impressive appearance at various festivals. Listening to their album it is no surprise, the impossible to ignore songs a feast of infectious melodic imagination and feisty addictive riffs and honest rock sounds. As mentioned there is not anything particularly startling or unique to the release but do not mistake that for it being flat or boring. Kings Of Self Destruction is a thrilling ride from first song to last, a familiar but inventive party to fully engage with from beginning to end.

The recording of the album began with producer and engineer Steve Riley mid 2009 and last year saw Zeroking release the EP A Taste Of Self Destruction which featured three tracks from the album as a teaser and followed previous single Stone Cold Bitch/Girls of California, the pair of songs also appearing on the release. Both garnered impressive acclaim and marked the album, as one to eagerly or impatiently wait for.

From the opening Dead Rock Star the band unleash a riot of sounds and songs which recall a brew of flavours from the likes of Guns N’ Roses Motley Crue, Saliva, Seether, and Buckcherry to name a few. Anthemic and rife with the best rock/metal tendencies, the album pulls you to your feet from the off and leaves it breathing heavily and sweating satisfaction. The opener incites only enthused responses to its familiar and compulsive sounds. It might play like an old friend but it is a fresh and vibrant returning buddy which lights up the senses and invites full union, something you can tag the whole release as.

The following Forget Vegas with its breezy swagger and flashy horns immediately is evidence to the diversity across the album soon backed by She Said with its twisting riffs and brooding bass sounds of First. It is a more reserved saunter through the ear than previous songs though still has the impetuosity which endears across Kings Of Self Destruction.

Showtime Revolution is an immediate highlight as soon as it entraps the ear with addictive hooks and a melodic infection to ignite inner fires. The guitar of Day is an electrified bristling delight whilst the rhythms of Webb jab and punch with the precision of a middleweight to drive the song home wonderfully. Vocalist Haught as on every song is an impressive focal point without distracting from the quality the rest of the band offer every time.

Songs like the sexy blues bar room joy Southern Lady, Ex-Godiva, the mesmeric Love Is Dead featuring the fine emotive voice of Stacee Laswson, and the aural contagion that is the title track, lead the senses into more devilment with a varied and wicked glint in their individual eyes. Again the music is uncomplicated, immediately your best friend, and completely infectious. To be honest hard rock has never been our favourite flavour at the RR but when it comes with such vitality and pleasure as that brought by Zeroking there is not a whisper of complaint to be heard.

The excitable metal veined treat which is Girls Of California leads the climax of the album to be ably supported by songs such as the teasing and incendiary stomp Black Friday and the majestic emotive ballad Valentine, the release continuing the strong and open diversity it started and persisted with.

    Kings Of Self Destruction is an excellent riot of rock n roll sure to find a home in every rock and metal heart. Honest and without pretensions the release is nothing but enjoyment and Zeroking a band who deserves more than a minute of any ones time.

Ringmaster 04/07/2012

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We Were Lions: Rebirth EP

Sometimes a  debut comes along which not only fires up the passions right there and then but sows a seed within that this is just a prelude to something very special and important ahead. Always whether that realisation will come to pass only time will tell but certainly with UK band We Were Lions the feeling that their Rebirth EP marks the beginning of a vital addition to rock music within these shores is openly strong. The four track release bristles with a formidable energy forged alongside an expressive heart and a melodic engagement to wither the hardest stares. It also shows a band still in evolution which only goes to reinforce the sense this is the beginning of something important. It can be easy to be impressed by an introduction but it is rarer to be left with a lingering and assured feeling that one could be witnessing the beginning of something special; We Were Lions with their EP are one of those rarities.

The Essex quintet emerged from previous incarnation Faint Young Sun and one can only assume the EP title Rebirth is a reflection in some part to this as well as the emotive theme pervading their songs. Consisting of vocalist Lloyd Coombes, guitarists Dean “Machine” Claydon and Marc Bartholomew, bassist Phil Lamont, and drummer Dan Vinnicombe, the band finds fuel for their creativity in the likes of A Day To Remember, 36 Crazyfists and Brand New, merging it with their own emotional high octane melodic imagination. The result is a release and music which demands attention with an intimidating air before welcoming one into their warm and passionate melodic heart. The blend is irresistible and shows a creativity and touch many new bands do not have at their disposal at first.

The band courts hardcore and post hardcore genres whilst setting up their own territory with their sound. Part anthemic, part senses flattening, and wholly emotively powerful their first release leaves one breathless in the face of impressive invention and superb craft. The fact that as the songs play to the deepest satisfaction you still feel there is so much more to come is almost scary and very exciting.

Rebirth opens up with the immediately infectious Silver Medal, its initial dusty rock riffs a hungry tease not to be denied. The song soon expands with thumping beats and a prowling bass to cower from driving the fine surges of guitar. The excellent vocals of Coombes light up the song and unveil his impressive controlled ability and near mesmeric charm. The song departs with a lingering bruising of the senses to mark how adept the band is at merging the aggressive side of their sound to their technical and melodic ingenuity.

Backseat saunters in next with an impression it has something from the heart to say. Of course it does but not before brewing up a storm of barging riffs and taunting rhythms to achieve control. It then relaxes as the vocals once more captivate the ear but there is no holding back the intensity and consuming raging of the song. The band from then on skilfully switches and twists both aspects into a fluid and outstanding piece of songwriting and realisation. Best song on the EP it alone shows the immense potential still in the band.

The remaining songs End Of The Night and Even Heroes Need Saving continue the impressive creativity with equal eagerness and effect. The first is an evocative rock song which at times has whispers of Thin Lizzy to its expansive riffs whilst igniting thoughts with its strong lyrics and their even better delivery. The closer is a harmonic delight with less aggression than elsewhere but a mutual power thanks to the striking heart borne atmosphere and passion which wraps every note and word. The song shows another side to the band and though not quite as contagious as previous songs on Rebirth it is the most inventive and provocative.

We Were Lions have announced their arrival with not only an EP which triggers only pleasure and enthusiasm but one which sets them up as possibly a band to have a big say on the destiny of UK rock music.  The Rebirth EP can be downloaded for free from the official band website our suggestion is go there right now and hear why we are so enamoured with We Were Lions.

RingMaster 04/07/2012

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