There is not a great deal we can tell you about UK rockabillies The Kings Of Outer Space, but one thing we can declare with loud confidence is that their new album How To Fly A Rocket is one exhilarating trip you will just want to climb on board with. Hailing from Bristol, the quintet has earned a fine reputation for their live performances, invigorating sound, and their impressive debut album Cosmic Debris. Released via Western Star Records, as its predecessor, the new album offers thirteen riotous dances of irrepressible and addiction causing temptation, rockabilly brought with passionate mischief and riveting enterprise. There is no pretence to be what it is not; the album and its tantalising contents just honest fun driven rock ‘n’ roll at its exciting best.
Themed from the likes of science fiction sexual teasing through to shadow draped mysteries with numerous energetic exploits in between, How To Fly A Rocket takes barely seconds to have ear, senses, feet not forgetting emotions engaged and belted up for the soaring journey of opener P.G.I.T.U. Introduced with a galactic announcement, the song instantly cups the ear with a delicious melodic tease of guitar with swipes of muscular rhythms drawing in the excellent upright bass croon brought by Greggsy and the great vocals of Giggsy. Straight away you know what you are going to get from song and album, the uncluttered and precise devilry of the guitars and their irresistible hooks matched by a rhythmic seduction. Feet and voice is the song’s plaything pretty much from its opening and chords too, whilst the track impressively manages to have a familiarity to it but also a fresh originality. Not for the first time on the album the band offers essences of other genres with a subtle craft, punk and country just two spices which add ingenious individuality to tracks and release.
The next up 44 opens with an accordion dance provided by guest Ian Norrys, a Parisian breath toying with the opening romp of beats and guitar coaxing from Mickey and Matt. Straight away it offers a distinctively different treat, the variation continuing across the album with each song having its own character and personal toxicity for the heart. From the canter of the second track the album next steps into the menacing mystique of Fall From Grace, the shadowed romance of danger embellished with an excellent harmonica flame from another guest musician in Paul Lynch. Paced by equally heated guitar craft and the rhythmic stepping of drummer Steve, the union makes for a countryesque slightly Cajun invitation which only stokes the fires all the more.
The following Daggertrap twists around the senses with a psychobilly and surf rock mix, the instrumental one of those pieces which has feet hoofing across the floor and emotions in close attention as it lingers welcomingly long after departure, the same which can be said of the excellent Monkey Alarm. Impossibly contagious the track is an old school rockabilly cored slice of rapacious recruitment of the emotions. With an impossible to resist joining chorus and a rampant energy to its stomp, the track is another infection drenched pinnacle with the diablerie of King Salami & The Cumberland Three and the punk grit of Guan Batz.
Both Watch Me Burn and Creepy Crawl keep the release on the highest plateau, the first with a more antagonistic attitude to vocals and its darker but still magnetic sound whilst its successor is a tantalising prowl of sinisterly goings on brought to the imagination upon a gliding shadow and brooding almost taunting seductive tones. There is no decline in thrills with the easy going Cochran like Haunted Man or the smouldering Smilin’ Eyes either whilst the brilliant Cosmic Thrust just climbs up another rung with its rhythmic shuffling and melodic fascination embroiled in more rockabilly enslavement. The warning groove which erupts halfway through sends the track into the deepest reaches of rapture, its Buzzcocks like toxin pure discord touching manna.
From the enticing country twanging Long Dry Summer the album bows out with the space dwelling glories of Moon Buggy Baby and Rocket Ride, the first a planetary crossing love affair with Gene Vincent guile, and a touch of cheesiness which just works, and the final song a simple but energised contagion again merging vintage rockabilly and surf rock into a potent fascination. How To Fly A Rocket is nothing less than pure joy, a release which also touches thoughts of band such as The Stargazers, Mickey & The Mutants, The Ghastly Ones, and The Phenomenauts but stands distinctly as The Kings Of Outer Space at the end of the day…a great album for good times.
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