Kingdom Come: Outlier

The song remains the same?

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Forever defined and maligned by having the temerity to sound not entirely dissimilar to a certain successful British rock band, disingenuously claiming never to have heard them (an urban myth) and then to further rub in the salt, going platinum on their debut, seldom has the weight of such initial brouhaha hung so heavy round a band’s neck.

Grunge destroyed what little credibility remained in the early 90s, yet through numerous incarnations and labels, the brand endures. Now essentially the Lenny Wolf show in all but name, the liner credits tell a story of perfectionism and possible obsession – Wolf sings, plays all instruments, engineers, produces, mixes and masters – making even Prince look a bit laissez-faire in comparison.

Musically it’s pretty dated, even if that date is 1987 rather than 1977, and a tokenistic smattering of electronica here and there merely updates proceedings to the mid-90s. Wolf’s wonderfully evocative voice elevates everything it graces, a slight grittiness adding layers of pathos previously absent, and it’s hardly his fault his register and tone mirror Robert Plant’s.

However, constant soaring melancholia over syncopated rhythms and generic chugging guitar soon grates and blurs, furthering the argument that collaboration has its benefits.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.