King King - Exile & Grace album review

Crowning glory

Cover art for King King - Exile & Grace album

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King King really do make this kind of thing sound so effortless. Having bagged yet more blues gongs over the past year or so, this fourth album and follow-up to 2015’s Reaching For The Light finds the band on top form, the warmth and power of their sound given a welcome tougher, riffier edge by a muscular mix from Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder). Tear It All Up and (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ are the main tracks benefitting from grittier guitars, but the entire album has a ballsier feel. Heed The Warning and Long Time Running in particular boast a wonderfully confident bluesy swagger, while Broken and Find Your Way Home do the whole soulful thing the band already carry off so well.

With not an ounce of songwriting fat on display, every song contributes to the overwhelming sense of a band enjoying a seriously creative purple patch. Long may it run.

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.