Kolo – Do You Want To Rule The World

Kolo_RingMaster Review

It is hard to tell if Do You Want To Rule The World, the debut album from UK rockers Kolo, is getting its first outing this September as kind of implied by its press release or came out earlier this year and is now getting a national reboot come Sept 25th. What we can tell you though is if you have yet to get a taste of Kolo’s vibrant pop rock sound, the album is very deserving of a hefty moment of your time. It might not blow you away, though it could easily do that too, but as we found, band and album only provide a perpetual lure to return and party in its infectious melodic revelry.

The band emerged in 2006 when Exeter bred vocalist/guitarist Jon Burnell, equipped with a wad of songs inspired by “all the tramps and slightly weird people who come into the record shop” , moved to London and subsequently linked up with Spanish born bassist Dani Mourinho and Croydon drummer Steve Fuller. 200 or so shows down the line, the band found itself invited to support 3 Doors Down, this notable moment in their emergence followed by the band performing at a host of O2’s around the UK and the recording of their first EP. Recorded with producer Sean Genockey at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, and mixed by Kirk Kelsey, it was a well-received introduction selling over 4000 copies and whilst providing a further spark to the band playing in the US and chances to share stages with the likes of Scouting for Girls, Mr Hudson, The Rifles, and Infadels.

In March 2014 the band flew to Nashville to record Do You Want To Rule The World with 3 Doors Down guitarist Chris Henderson who had personally invited Kolo to record their album at his own studio. Seemingly released worldwide via LHM Records this past May, we are assuming September’s outing is another additional and welcome nudge on the world’s attention, a persuasion for more take notice of what really is one thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly compelling encounter with the almost exhaustingly energetic and creatively lively Kolo.

cover_RingMaster Review     Their album opens with the previously successful single Castro, its gentle emergence offering no hint to the anthemic roar to follow. With muscular beats and a meaty bassline joining early harmonies and melodically climbing guitar, the song slips into a controlled but feisty stroll which is never afraid to spring a flurry of fiery energy and catchy hookery the way of ears. It is a great invitation into the heart of Do You Want To Rule The World and quickly backed by the sturdier but no less infectious Be Someone. Again Mourinho provides a bass temptation to get hungry for whilst guitars and beats collude to cast a boisterous enticement catching ears as potently as the alluring tones of Burnell. The song is a kind of mix between Foo Fighters and Sick Puppies without sounding overly like either and the perfect set up to the stirring air and magnetic textures of Andrea which comes next.

The song is another melody driven warm tempest of enterprise for which the word rousing fits perfectly whilst its successor Mr Bigshot recruits ears and feet with a smiling swagger which you would swear came from an ELO seeding. With more bounce and swing than a bungee rope, the song leaps around inciting the same in others whilst entangling their vocal chords in its rich virulence of pop and rock at its united best. It is not particularly demanding or ground-breaking but all irresistible, heart-warming temptation.

Rule The World courts the alternative rock emotion of a 3 Days Grace in its pungent and energetic croon lit by the rolling bait uncaged by Fuller at choice moments whereas the outstanding Break Your Face dangles spicy slithers of grooving from its Stereophonics meets Fall Out Boy creative theatre to become more captivating and impressive with every passing minute. Both tracks hit the spot for body and soul, a success also pretty much found by High Heels and its harmonic mellowness over more of the rhythmic energy and prowess which as much as anything stands out across the album as a whole.

Variety is another strong feature to the songs within Do You Want To Rule The World, and maybe no more openly than through King Of The Street People which from opening with an enticing merger of voice and emotive strings twists into a breath-taking, urgency fuelled saunter sure to set dance-floors on fire and coax appetites into pure greed. It is pure pop and instinctive rock ‘n’ roll with a classical air and hungry rock breath, the provocative lure of strings a perfect companion to the grouchy voice of the bass and the contagion of the song an exhilarating soundtrack to the creative drama thrilling the imagination. As Break Your Face, the song is Kolo at its musically ingenious best and if there is anything to say ‘against’ the album, it is that the band does not take this boldness enough into other tracks.

The haunting start to Earthquake is a mesmeric lead for thoughts and the following adventure of changeable energies and similarly mercurial melodies and textures, its success making way for the pop infection that is closing track Dreams, another fiery serenade of vocals and guitars with a rhythmic skeleton equipped to be as tender as it is dramatic. The pair provides an enjoyable end to an album which maybe is not ground-breaking in any major way but reveals more as it only improves with age.

Kolo is a band to make you feel good and make your body move in ways you thought forgotten. Their songs are rock pop to lick your lips over but be warned once they infest there is no shaking them off… thankfully.

Do You Want To Rule The World is out now via LHM Records through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 24/09/2015

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