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Palace Of The King - Valles Marineris album review

Blues rock made modern.

The band’s name might suggest something preposterously pretentious, but at their heart Palace Of The King really are simple, straightforward blues rockers.

The Aussies have something in common with Blues Pills, Graveyard and Crobot. They also have the occasional funk perspective, as on Black Cloud and Sick As A Dog, which bring to mind Betty Davis or Mother’s Finest. The Bridge Of The Gods doffs its riffs in the direction of Grand Funk Railroad, while Empire Of The Sun reeks of Humble Pie.

There’s a celebratory cohesion that puts Palace Of The King above and beyond being mundane blues rockers rehashing a faded past. Led by the thunderous vocals of Tim Henwood, who has the tone of a young Steve Marriott with hints of Chris Robinson, this band drive with unleashed joy. It helps that Sean Johnston adds expansive keyboard passages, but the overall impact is that of stylish individuals locked in a timeless embrace.