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Kodiak Jack: Alhambra

Second album from bruising Brit rockers.

Strap on a pair and embrace the heavy rock crunch with sprightly British bunch Kodiak Jack. Produced by Tesla bassist Brian Wheat, including reworked versions of three tracks from their 2011 debut, Alhambra layers on thick, Snickers bar rawk’n’roll, with traces of softer Foo Fighters in its more angst-ridden moments.

It has to be said that Kodiak Jack’s strength really lies in their guitar work – tighter, harder, stronger and largely better than what they achieve vocally, or lyrically (‘When the chips are down, you’ve gotta stand your ground…’). Chorus tunes in the likes of Waves may be fine but ineffectual, yet there’s redeeming joy in the metallic instrumental grit therein. Similarly, classy classic rock solos work wonders on tracks like Get Out Alive, while the bouncy No Surrender offers unfancy but toe-tapping, distorted thrust aplenty.

With guts, gusto and gall galore, what Alhambra lacks in consistent tuneage it compensates for with ballsy drive and strains of bona fide infectious riffery. Probably at its peak live.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.