King Canute – Drive EP

King Canute Online Promo Shot

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 King Canute Cover Artworkand 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.


RingMaster 31/08/2014

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Ghost Of The Highway: Self Titled

From the moment the song So Sick from UK rock band Ghost Of The Highway, was submitted to and heard on The Reputation Radio Show, a review of the forthcoming mini album it came from was a must. When the track was recently broadcast the eager acclaim towards its vibrant and powerful sounds by the audience of the show was expressive and full, something the band will surely become used to with the release of their impressive album on September 1st.

From Guildford, Ghost Of The Highway consists of vocalist and guitarist Jon Lett (The Black Zetas, Calico), bassist Jack Williams, and Jack Summerfield on drums. The band began in 2010 when Lett met Summerfield in a bar. Drinks, reflections of the state of local music with probably more drinks in tow, led to the linking of their musical creativity. Working hard on songs and going through a pair of bassists, the band released the demo Hope and Other Four Letter Words through bedroom label Specky Records the following year. It was well received drawing much acclaim to its heavy rock energies and sounds. Later in the year Williams was recruited and now stable the band entered the studio with producer Paul Frost to work on the album. Earlier this year saw the release of previously mentioned single So Sick, it again pulling in nothing but great and enthused responses.

The song opens up the album and instantly has the word infectious at the ready for its excited and greedy hooks and melodic enterprise. The guitars electrify the air initially with a blistering scuzzy energy whilst larger melodic strokes flash within its bristling presence. In full flow the song is soon offering intensive rhythms and a great bass prowling from Williams whilst the vocals of Letts, also with that distorted tinge to their breath, impress. The track is aggressive without resorting to force or being over demanding, its energy and appetite enough to stir up the senses. The band comes from the home of the Reuben and though Ghost Of The Highway do not quite have the intensity they hold the same ability to create compelling and addictive riffs and hooks as that great band.

The following Preacherman starts with a gently caressing melodic whisper of guitar and voice before the song unleashes a punk rock lined piece of rock n roll. The song is excellent though slightly frustrating as at times it feels like it wants to explode into an unbridled storm but to be fair if it had gone that way it is doubtful the well crafted and defined song would have worked quite as well. Not for the first time the band have a Green Day feel about their sound which though an easy comparison is accurate.

The steely Vultures is an outstanding piece of rock music with a seventies garage blues gait alongside its melodic pulse whilst the bass of Williams has a vibrant yet niggled sound, his lines gnawing on the ear wonderfully. With its slight stoner air too, the track is a thrilling contagion showing a wider variation to the music of the band.

Punk spices the excellent Second Rate next, another song which like the opener hits all the right buttons to have senses, limbs, and heart rate in active accompaniment. There is an underlying grunge flavour to add extra texture to the song and once more Ghost Of The Highway shows its ammunition is diverse and potent.

The last pair of songs ensure the album maintains its high levels to the very end, March Of The Pigs and Another Pretty Boy leaving only pure satisfaction behind. The first again finds the band with an American Idiot era Green Day lilt to its inciteful heart whilst the closing second single from the release opens like a sensitive crystalline ballad. Of course the band cannot maintain their restraint and the song soon steps into a slice of emotive catchiness which excites the ear and warms the senses.

With their self titled album, Ghost Of The Highway step forward to show themselves as one of the more inventive and inspiring bands in UK rock music right now and one who all should get to know in September.

RingMaster 24/08/2012

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