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Hills Of Kings: Neurotic Circuit

German rockers determined to get down

The trend for low-slung Southern rock continues with Germany’s Hills Of Kings, who appear to have studied at the School Of Phil Anselmo Rip-offs. For a band that claim to be decidedly un-metal, they’ve made an album that bears the hallmark of a band trying to sound de rigueur.

There are enough acts sticking their flag in Monster Magnet/Down/Clutch territory, and doing it with balls, that we don’t need another. But HOK have come up with a cunning plan, mixing their languorous lawnmower riffs with the odd detour into alt-rock à la Filter, and stabbing at industrial in their closing piece.

The latter is wholly incongruous while their other efforts to stand out fail on account of the crap lead guitar parts, lack of direction and their singer’s affinity with the voicebox of Anselmo. It’s not all bad – production-wise, this is sharp, the riffs are gutsy and the vocals are muscular. There’s hope, at least.