When UK rockers Ghost of the Highway came to an end two years ago fans were definitely left with a hole to fill in their enjoyment. Rising from the ashes, band member Johnny Lett (bass/vocals) has alongside Chris Woollams (drums/vocals), easily brought a new provocation to thrill over and bridge that gap in the compelling shape of King Canute. Fusing heavy rock and punk in a much more ferocious and raw yet voraciously imaginative brew than previous exploits, the duo made an immediate impression when emerging last year and its continues in the potent brawl of new EP Drive. Four tracks which roar and incite with unfussy and magnetic tenacity, the release is a storm not exactly setting out into new scenery for UK rock but undoubtedly giving it and fans a compelling adventure to keenly embrace.
Hailing from Guildford and Harlow, since forming King Canute has taken little time in raising support and attention with their at times uncompromising sound. They have lit up stages alongside the likes of Slaves to Gravity, Zico Chain, Idiom, Bad for Lazarus amongst a great many, as well as drawn acclaim with debut EP Cutting Teeth, it receiving equally strong media attention. The release which featured Jamie Lenman (formerly of Reuben), set down a feisty first marker for the band which Drive now pushes deeper with a richer persuasion, the Gavin Monaghan produced EP leaving ears and appetite with a new hunger for the band.
Cocaine Skank is the first encounter on the EP and instantly entwines ears in a mesh of vibrant rhythms and tempting bass, both increasing their coaxing in urgency and persuasion as the song evolves into a punchy incitement. Hooks and short grooves add to the appealing and raw texture of the song whilst the vocals offer a potent expression and raw honesty to the proposition. A healthy punk antagonism crowds ears and riffs too whilst there is an alternative rock invention to the twists and turns the song seamlessly strides through.
The title track comes next and takes a more considered gait into its just as swiftly appealing presence. With scythes of chords and sonic temptation sweeping behind the strong vocals of both men, and a thumping rhythmic prowl inviting the fullest engagement, the song is a simmering hostile and openly anthemic enticement. Essences of Queens Of the Stone Age colour the impressive song but it, and the others making up the EP, most of all spark thoughts of nineties British rock band Skyscraper. Its captivating impact is matched by the following Trash Talk. Primarily electro punk but with aggressive abrasing and mildly corrosive melodies, the song is a mix of OurFamous Dead and Hundred Reasons with a touch of Alkaline Trio yet unique King Canute all the same.
An electro coaxing swiftly leads into the caustic arms of bass as Hellmates begins bringing the release to a close, jabbing rhythms and the similarly honest and expressive vocals of the pair soon joining the contagious bait. The song’s swagger is an instantly successful lure whilst the slipping into slower evocative moments, without gripping as potently still leaves thoughts and emotions enthralled. The song is again punk rock at its heart but the electronic veining, which equally pushes the potency of the song, and the exceptional intimidation of bass with its gnarly flavouring, all go to create a fresh and inventive proposition.
Drive confirms and reinforces the impressive emergence of King Canute whilst suggesting of greater things and more dramatic sounds ahead. That may come in the shape of the band’s debut album which they are currently working on for a 2015 release. Time will tell but it is hard not to have a healthy anticipation for its arrival thanks to the richly satisfying Drive EP.
The Drive EP is released 1st September and available through all good digital outlets.
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