THE KINGCROWS – BAD TIME FOR THE GOODTIME GENERATION – Review By Uberrock Monk 2nd August 2023
‘This is dirty back alley punk at its, well, dirtiest.’
Leeds old-school infused punks rockers The Kingcrows may be declaring that it is a ‘Bad Time For The Goodtime Generation’, but one thing is for certain: it is far from the case for fans of good time, scuzzy, snot-fuelled punk ‘n’ roll as long as combos such as these guys continue to pick up their instruments and lay down riffs such as they deliver on this, their latest DIY release.
Over the course of the 14 tracks offered hereon, these Yorkshire ‘Crows deliver a soundtrack that will appeal as much to hardcore original punks as it will to those brought up on the likes of Green Day or glunksters such as Hanoi Rocks, as well of those who undertook our musical education blasting out the likes of Mott, The Dogs or The Quireboys at neighbour-annoying volumes. Equally, there is more than enough spit, verve and pedal-to-floor attitude and grit to draw lovers of the likes of Turbonegro or any of the plethora of Scandi-action rock proponents which constantly batter down the doors of ÜRHQ and demand our attention.
The Kingcrows did the latter in the nicest possible way, with a politely worded email extolling what they love about our beloved site. Well, apart from that, there’s nothing nice or polite about ‘Bad Times…’. This is dirty back alley punk at its, well, dirtiest. A rabid collection of 14 tunes which grab you by the balls tighter than our pet wolf with the smell of blood in his nostrils and possessed of more infectious melodies than a ward full of, well, possessed zombies. It’s an album that touches all the right bases from first chord to last: big riffs, bombastic rhythms and incisive vocals all delivered with angst and ferocity.
THE KINGCROWS – BAD TIME FOR THE GOODTIME GENERATION – Review By Pete Ring Ringmaster Reviews 9th August 2023
‘Keenest hooks and Anthemic Raucousness…The finest moment with THE KINGCROWS yet? We think so…’
In recent times, THE KINGCROWS have taken us to Funland and stood toe to toe with us in Brute Force And Ignorance; two acclaim buried albums cementing the Leeds quartet as one of the UK’s finest fiercest protagonists of punk rock and rebellion. Now they are ready to stir things up again with new full-length, Bad Time For The Goodtime Generation, a long and eagerly awaited confrontation which soon left expectations a battered wreck on the floor.
To be fair, the album is a fourteen strong collection of tracks accosting, bullying and inciting the senses with KINGCROWS familiarity. One listen without details and fans will instantly recognise the creative uproar of vocalist Phil E. Stine, guitarist Lee J, drummer Ratbag and bassist Rocco who we greatly thank for sending their new outing our way. Yet it is a set of songs which offer the most virulent and bullish dose of their old school punk/rock ‘n’ roll bred sound yet within tracks bearing the keenest hooks and anthemic raucousness unleashed upon ears by the attitude fired foursome. Bad Time For The Goodtime Generation is a scuff of the neck grabbing assault on a turbulent and seemingly corruptively apathetic world, a middle finger flying riot which also just happens to be punk forged rock ‘n’ roll at its merciless best.
The album kicks off with Goodtime Generation, a rousing rebel encounter springing from a sample and an instinctively inviting bassline to deliver a contagion loaded rally cry. Flying rhythms and trespassing riffs only add to its infectious courting with Stine’s and the band’s ferociously rousing vocals leading the potent start to the release.
It is a great involvement igniting start but for us the album truly takes off with the following Falling Like Skittles. In a way the first track sets the template for the release with its successor revealing and triggering the tinderbox of bold enterprise crackling and erupting throughout Bad Time For The Goodtime Generation. Even before a vocal breath is shared there is manipulative catchiness to the song led by sabre-esque riffs and Ratbag’s pugilistic rhythms; a virulence coming to an inescapable head in the raucous contagion of the chorus which had us hollering within its second cycle on our first listen.
Both Thousand Miles From Home and Young Guns Of Nowhere Town proved just as entangling in body and dispute with the first a riff swinging incursion impossible to leave alone and the second a bait dangling, anthemic holler of defiance and galvanic implication. Each uncage a speciality in manipulating hooks and a hue and cry of creative disorder before Kicking In Heavens Door raises the ante with its own surge of mutinous enterprise. The track is something akin to a mix of DR. FEELGOOD and THE VIBRATORS in its balls swinging rock ‘n’ roll, a rioting slab of unruly dynamics and insurgent feral enterprise greedily devoured.
Gripping our favourite album moment, the superb track makes way for the equally enlivening Be What You Wanna Be which drew us quickly in with another ear gripping rhythmic incitement from Ratbag which is soon joined by the urgent riffery of Lee J and another of Rocco’s pleasure stoking basslines. The ever eager sing-a-long rapacity of THE KINGCROWS songwriting is again an inescapable and eagerly welcomed confrontation and just as purposeful and lapped up within Live And Die (Tonight) and in turn the uncured glam punk antics of Thankyou And Goodnight.
A gravelly bassline springs the outstanding Love Hurts into action next, that alone a trigger to inflame our incurable punk instincts which are only further ignited by the track’s CLASH like pugilistic contagion while its successor, Feeling Good, flirts with a rockabilly bred seeding before getting deeper under the skin with its punk ‘n’ roll anthem.
As we mentioned, every song within the album has a voice and character which is unmistakably THE KINGCROWS but each reveal another fresh aspect and invention to the band’s seventies punk inspired roar which Devils with its horror punk and hard rock infused nagging further pushes as too Boys In The Band through its untamed power pop courting clamour.
Similarly, the final pair of Black Sands and Love And RazorBlades add further colour and predacious adventure to the encounter, the first teasing a hardcore lining to its intrusive attitude driven catchiness while the second is prime KINGCROWS punk ‘n’ roll with flying rhythms, taunting hooks and vocal uproar. It is full greedily devoured manipulation but again like its predecessor a track equipped with cunning twists and body and emotions involving infamy.
Bad Time For The Goodtime Generation is also a release which by the play has just grown more impressive, arousing and devious in its grip on one’s own involvement…the finest moment with THE KINGCROWS yet? We think so.
THE KINGCROWS – BAD TIME FOR THE GOODTIME GENERATION Review by Dave FungalPunk 29.7.2023
‘One for the youth and perhaps those who indeed think they are young. Get up and fuckin’ go folks’
The Kingcrows have played many a Fungal gig, they have now flown the nasty nest of noise and moved into other realms whilst I stay at the bottom wallowing with the few cracked eggs and loving it. The crew have always been a joy, a good bunch of lads and always willing to chip in – that will do for me. This latest CD came out of the blue and was received with a warm smile and great hopes. I had an inkling of what I would get, I was not to surprised and after some good listening time I slapped out the following assessment.
‘Goodtime Generation’ has all the tonal attributes and familiar essences that make this band so likeable and easily recognisable. A soundbite from yesteryear comes, a bass bumble and some preparing string strums are gifted. The sticks flutter and then we are at it. The opening verse is typical of the band, fresh and breezy and with a joy in the jizz with all components cracking themselves off with utter relish. The illuminations are shining bright, the big top feel is prevalent and the celebration of the fun-lovers is there for all to embrace. The Kingcrows are unashamedly party punks, I hate parties, but I do like this lot and I do appreciate this opening number – I can still enjoy it whilst taking a shit in the kitchen of the punk rock family tha’ knows.
The follow up ‘Falling Like Skittles’ – a summing up of the situation as we grow old and watch folk drop like flies. The opening gambit is nostalgia soaked, looking back through rose-coloured glasses remembering times that have been enhanced through the warping factor of time. Fuck that, today is the day, tomorrow is to be taken, yesteryear and all the throwaway living is done. This will meet the needs of the many, those retro-soaked residents who are missing the progressive points of punkery. I don’t mind the tune here, it is upbeat and chipper but the essence of looking over the shoulder thinking everything was great is not my bag.
‘Thousand Miles From Home’ is a thriving piece, the best outpouring so far with meaner tones shot through with highly aerated exposures of a band loving what they do. The whole construct is regular and indicative of what these 4 pirates do. They sail the sonic seas, venture far and wide and rock and roll with an undying and somewhat cracked passion. Over the years the band have become a reliable force who ‘do what they do’ – here is a prime example of KC spillage and why so many of us are quite taken by the crew both on and off stage. Stable work with nobs on.
The best song of the lot is ‘Young Guns Of Nowhere Town’ – a real swinging gem that defies those that deem these rock and roll melodies as the semen of the devil that impregnates and sends folk off the rails. Remember folks – being ‘on the rails’ is a terrible place, get off track and confound the crippled. This is a great upbeat number with a crisp, glasslight guitar riff, some impermeable bass foundations and a regulating stick beat to keep us all in line. The embracing magnificence of the melody is a real urging piece – one for the youth and perhaps those who indeed think they are young. Get up and fuckin’ go folks.
A trio of tunes are grabbed next, ‘Kicking In Heavens Door’ has ownership of a likeable belligerence and holds a self-assured style with all the trimmings we are now familiar with draped over and within the context of the tune. There is plenty of action and a certain unrelenting advancement with all areas in line and contributing to a number, once more, laden with life. The follow-up is equally animated with ‘Be What You Wanna Be’ a superb episode of incessant liquidity with an unstoppable gushing that is an irresistible treat for those who need of a kick up the jacksie. This is early morning music, an outburst to regenerate the soul with and to start the day on a high with. The main gist is to believe in self and to crack on – an ethos I spout every day and very much live. We all get dips though, my advice is to consider playing this very loud indeed. The last upchuck of the latest 3 is ‘Live And Let Die (Tonight)’, a feisty number that has a fuck free approach and a strong desire to drink hard and have fun. One for the lads and loons this, and hopefully one not for the selfish and those just on the take (fuckin’ cunts). Again, what can I say, the band do what they do and do it well. The plan to enjoy, rock with glory and have a fine time whilst doing so are all there for each and every listener to witness – by heck they are true to their artform and this one completes a fine triplet of tip-top tuneology.
‘Thank You And Goodnight’ is consistency incarnate, another example of how the band operate and hardly break sweat whilst pouring out treat after treat. There is a glitch in this consummate production ability – the fact that so many songs are of a high standard and of a similar strain is a paradoxical failing in itself. Pace needs to be altered, style switched and angles thrown in but for those who are die-hard Corvid fans – I am sure some will disagree. I have no gripes with the band and the output but I would be a selfish git indeed if I didn’t try and squeeze out every last drop of talent from these darn fuckers. This is a good song but disappears into the pack – take note ya tinkers.
‘Love Hurts’ has a fine ‘Drone’d’ opening before ploughing away with the heart torn open and the emotions spilled. The construct is simple here – an orthodox routine with many cliched touches and accoutrements. This in no way matters, this is good glam-rag enthusing noise destined to get the beer swillers and the pickled party people pinging this way and that. Honest, transparent and with no sub-text – now where’s me dancing shoes. ‘Feeling Good’ continues the obvious theme (boy these guys must be awash with Prozac). The thread continues, the outcome the same with the band delivering high-action, ‘on the town’ posing. Dress up, mess up and get on the stage and fuckin’ do it. The immediate double punch that follows comes in the form of ‘Devils’ and ‘Boys In The Band’ – the first is a heavy handed number built on some muscular bass and a warning regarding the evil in our midst. This one brings a slight change in proceedings and it is very much welcome. The song however needs a little time to win favour when put against the more obvious winning numbers, but I do think this will add a certain longevity factor others may lack. The chaser ‘Boys In The Band’ is straight up fodder from the continuous conveyor belt of sound that the band so readily spit forth. At this stage I think the band have done enough and are leaving me little to add. The main gyp I have is the sincere lack of variation in pace and tonal texture. As I say, I like this lot and they do what they do they do mighty well but I am ready for a shake up and would like to see the band step outside their own safety zone and startle all and sundry. This song is good but is that indeed, good enough at this point, especially for us long term followers of the flock?
2 left ‘Black Sands’ has a distinctive ‘Dirtbox’ feel to the opening throes with a sound zip in the zest and a typical punkoid angle to the lyrical overflow. The darker edginess is noted, the incessant drive has a magnetic propulsion not to be underestimated and, as per, all areas are given good space and coming in loud and clear. There is a suggestion of ‘snarl’ here and as a result the band seem to get more out of what they do. I like this one a lot, it has an earthiness and a controlled flamboyance with a little extra flesh on the bone and, a certain defiant streak. We close with ‘Love And Razor Blades’ with the script followed, the surge upheld and the band signing off in the same style as when they started and, it seems, with no intention of changing. The drums are excitable, exact and full of youthful spunk. The strings work as one and give the always obvious honesty, whilst the frontman warbles on with lucid recognisability and a noticeable thirst for what transpires. You can’t fault the bands love for what they do, and if you are a fan of everything about The Kingcrows this is a sure-fire winner. I sign off smiling.
The good regarding this CD is obvious – it is a CD played with blatant passion, fine musicianship and by 4 blokes who are in tune both on and off stage and have an undeniable belief in what they do. The bad, if I may be so honest, is in the fact the band are too recognisable for their own good and do not vary matters enough. The ugly – well man, have you seen these fuckers without make-up?
And there you have my verdict – all I ask of the band is to keep going and on the next release keep it to 8 tracks and throw in some slow songs, a few curveballs and a song about mushrooms – not a lot to ask is it?
THE KINGCROWS – YOUNG GUNS OF NOWHERE TOWN Review by Ross A. Ferrone – Rock Regeneration 7.10.2022
‘an anthemic vocal onslaught over a chugging drumbeat’
First Wave Punk-inspired The Kingcrows, hailing from Leeds; bring us their latest single – the affectionately titled “Young Guns Of Nowhere Town”. This quartet I’m guessing were listening to The Clash’s “Give ’em Enough Rope” for inspiration when they conceived this song? There’s more than a nod to “All The Young Punks” in the vocal intro. It’s an anthemic vocal onslaught over a chugging drumbeat, while the lyrical content is all too familiar.
It’s a happy-go-lucky song for all the ‘outsider bands’ and fans alike, spreading positive vibes while delivering “the message” – the Revolution may just be around the corner… The bass-centric bridge is great before those anthemic vocals bellow out once more, taking the song to a sharp conclusion.
I can’t believe after nine visits to Rebellion I may have missed The Kingcrows, that’s the problem with line-up clashes! For fans of pre – “London Calling” The Clash, this is a band well worth checking out on the evidence of this stellar release.
THE KINGCROWS – YOUNG GUNS OF NOWHERE TOWN Review by Pete RingMaster – Ringmaster Reviews 7.10.2022
‘a hue and cry echoing each and every generation past and to come’
Never slow in taking a one way trip to the embrace of spirit rousing noise, we invite your company as we head to five of the most senses enlivening tracks to surge forth these past days.
Igniting the senses and devouring inhibitions has never been a rare pleasure with UK punks THE KINGCROWS so maybe no surprise that we found ourselves stomping the ground and hollering to the skies with their new single, Young Guns of Nowhere Town.
Released October 7th 2022, the song epitomises the energy and anthemic prowess of a band which continues to indelibly enrich the British punk ‘n’ roll scene; their previous pair of albums, Funland and Brute Force & Ignorance alone major acclaim drawing incitements. Young Guns of Nowhere Town suggests bigger and bolder exploits still to come with the Leeds hailing quartet, the track sparked by and a homage to the bands, sounds and ‘the gangs’ which inspired their creative journey.
It is a track also embracing the flavouring of that time, seventies punk and raucous rock embroiled in its swiftly contagious uproar. From the anthemic holler of vocalist Phil E Stine and the bait dangling riffs and hooks of guitarist Lee J to the rhythmic incitement and harassment of bassist Rocco and drummer Ratbag, Young Guns of Nowhere Town roars with defiance and galvanic manipulation, a hue and cry echoing each and every generation past and to come.
Young Guns of Nowhere Town is prime slice of punk rock with a ferocity fuelled rock ‘n’ roll appetite, typical KINGCROWS with typical pleasure alongside them.
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE The Ringmaster Review – Pete Ring 7.10.2020
‘voracious riffs and an organic catchiness which swiftly infested body and spirit alike’
Five years back punk outfit The Kingcrows ignited passions here with their seriously rousing full-length Funland. It was a release fusing familiar and fresh endeavour, one “rigorously feeding appetites for seventies punk and today’s punk ‘n’ roll.” Their latest album, Brute Force & Ignorance carries on that instinctive magnetism but simultaneously stands as the UK band’s fullest and maturest, indeed boldest, roar of rock ‘n’ roll yet.
The Leeds hailing quartet barely takes a creative breath before launching their raucous sound upon ears, album opener Psycho Radio from a twitch of the dial charging forward with voracious riffs and an organic catchiness which swiftly infested body and spirit alike. As almost expected, the song unites seventies punk and instinctively rousing rock ‘n’ roll; a mix of The Vibrators and The Adicts colouring its heart and intent as the album gets off to a mighty flyer.
A darker steelier hue wraps the following Blood Brothers, the rapier swings of drummer Ratbag an imposing instigator of that defiance lit trespass as again the band uncages a slice of punk ‘n’ roll drenched in inescapable catchiness; a quality echoed in the ever lively tones of vocalist Phil E. Stine. Roaring as a reflection of the bond between band mates, the track is matched in thick temptation by successor Car Crash Cadillac, a tarmac eating protagonist prowling the senses. The intimidating bassline sprung by Rocco had us hooked alone, the riffs of Lee J just as predatory in the track’s stalking and with subsequent grooves unleashes enslavement. Even the slight seventies glam pop infectiousness to temper the threat only added to the making of what is one of the album’s most potent moments.
I Love Myself is pure chant-a-long virulence, a track which feels immediately familiar yet only provides fresh and flavoursome incitement while next up Vic The Vigilante is an ear nagging, participation rousing trespass; another track which almost harasses the listener into action by hungrily getting under the skin for another majorly favourite moment. Again there is a darker almost primal aspect to its rock ‘n’ roll which was easily devoured before City Kids uncages another feral yet infectious holler and in turn Bum Notes And Feedback boldly roars its enterprising head off. Choppy riffs and an addictive bass stroll lead the numerous temptation loaded traits of the first with the second an anthemic bellow suitable for a return out of these oppressive times we share; both songs revealing more aspects to the band’s evolving and broadening sound.
Similarly Z-List Celebrity with its punk discord and venomous accusation and the following unruly rebel rousing of Saturday Night Rock City add further variety, both cut from the same old school punk cloth but bringing thick individuality to the character of the release while One Night Only is a rock rumble baring punk teeth around sonic tempestuousness. All three provide particular favourite moments with the latter taking the overall honour with the rhythmic prowess of Ratbag and Rocco heading its complete manipulation of body and spirit.
The final trio of tracks bring the album to as powerful and irresistible a close as the first three introduced it, Do What You Do first up and immediately rhythmically firing up the passions, enslavement sealed by the fiery grooves of Lee J and Stine’s ever rousing vocals. The track is superb another mighty landmark in the album’s imagination and enterprise crafted adventure.
With Rip It Up a disorderly assault on the senses and My Heart, My Life a contagion bulging uproar, Brute Force & Ignorance leaves in explosive incitement; both tracks galvanic slabs of punk commotion and each simply rich manna for genre loving instincts.
Brute Force & Ignorance is simply superb, the best ruckus with The Kingcrows yet and the richest outing from songwriting to imagination and sound from them to date; a record sure to hit the spot within punk and rock ‘n’ roll fans everywhere.
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE The Punk Site – A.J.Phink 12.9.2020
‘if you’re not singing along to the choruses by the time you’re on your second listen then I’d check for a pulse’
It’s been three years since The Kingcrows unleashed “Funland“, their last full length, and two years since I last caught them live, sometimes you wonder how a band has evolved when it’s been a few years since you last encountered them, questions run through your mind about how they might have changed, but not today, this is The Kingcrows and there is a reassuring determination to deliver full tilt punk ‘n roll that I doubt will ever change. Back in the pre-pandemic years when last I caught The Kingcrows live, when gigs were still a regular feature of our social lives, tracks were previewed “from their shortly to be recorded and as yet untitled new album”, so even before the pandemic assorted spanners appear to have been put in the works, but now they are back with the appropriately named “Brute Force & Ignorance“.
“Brute Force & Ignorance” explodes into life with ‘Psycho Radio‘, a straight up shot of punk ‘n roll that is the perfect track one side one, the energy levels never once drop out of the red and introspection and subtlety are just things that happen to other bands. “Brute Force & Ignorance” is an album that captures the spirit of rock ‘n roll and contaminates it with a punk attitude and style and whatever it was that kept Lemmy going into his 70th year. “Brute Force & Ignorance” is is an adrenalised buzz, a life affirming forty minutes that celebrates everything The Kingcrows love about life, with the sole exception of ‘Z List Celebrity’ that raises a middle finger at celebrity culture, but otherwise this is a headstrong and hedonistic album.
As I’ve hinted at previously “Brute Force & Ignorance” has been fermenting a while now, it’s been a long wait but it’s been worth it, more so than any of their previous releases this album captures the essence of The Kingcrows live, if you’re not singing along to the choruses by the time you’re on your second listen then I’d check for a pulse. Some might argue that this is punk and roll by the numbers, but I’ve always maintained that if you’re going to do something then do it right, and with “Brute Force & Ignorance” The Kingcrows have released their finest studio album to date, one that does justice to their live reputation.
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE Nite Songs – Andy J – Rating 8/10
‘three chord breathlessness, tightwire riffs, gang chant choruses and odes to life on the road’
Mainstays of the Leeds rock scene, the Kingcrows are now on their fourth album and Brute Force And Ignorance is pretty much a straight continuation from where its predecessor, 2015’s Funland, left off. These guys have one foot planted in New York some time in the late ’70s knocking back Jack Daniels with the Ramones and the Dictators at CBGB’s and the other planted in Soho circa 1986 downing a pint with the Babysitters and Marionette at Gossip’s.
In other words, it’s all frenetic three chord breathlessness, tightwire riffs, gang chant choruses and odes to life on the road (Blood Brothers, Bum Notes And Feedback, My Heart My Life, Saturday Night Rock City) with the odd deviation from the formula to keep things fresh such as the Sweet style glam stomp of City Kids and the Vince Taylor tribute Car Crash Cadillac.
Sure, it’s nothing you won’t expect if you’ve heard any of the Kingcrows’ previous releases but sometimes there’s a good argument for playing to your strengths and make no mistake, these guys most definitely do. Quite simply, if you need some good honest three chord rock ‘n’ roll to cheer you up, you could do a lot worse than giving this one a look.
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE RPM Online – Dom Daley
‘You bring the beer and these four will bring the tunes ‘Brute Force And Ignorance’ is a right tidy piece of punk rock n roll’
Four years on from the release of our last album ‘Funland’, we now have thirteen more tracks of sleaze-punk-n-roll insanity with all the subtlety and refinement of a boot in the jewels or something like that as Kingcrows hit you over the bonce with no subtlety but plenty of volume and catchy chorus’ that can and will bounce around your head.
From the off their cards are on the table – fast as fuck – loads of fun – some great Green Day riffage loads of Ramones friendly lyrics and chord changes and Lee Terry smashing the fuck out of his kit for your listening pleasure. That’s ‘Psycho Radio’ in a nutshell.
To be fair that’s pretty much the aim throughout. the kingcrows love punk rock and loud guitars and sing-a-longs and therefore why wouldn’t they make a record crammed full of more of the same. Its got some rock muscle in there just for the craic and throw in some goofyness and you have yourselves some Babysitters humour and Rock and Roll added for good measure. To be fair the world was a simpler place when The teenage idols walked the earth so why wouldn’t we love a band who want to sing about ‘Car Crash Cadillac’ or loving themselves with some twelve-bar played fast and loads of sing-a-long harmonies.
‘Vic The Vigilante’ has a great big riff and easy on that cowbell Mr. Terry (you’ll break it). The Ramones made a living out of this stuff and why not? ‘City Kids’ is like a fucked up and bastardised ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ on the riff then its pure Yob rock – Ave it!
Heads down for a bucket full of fun as ‘Bum Notes And Feedback’ slam dances into the cheeky ‘Z List Celebrity’. ‘Saturday Night Rock City’ turns it up to 11 before ‘One Night Only’ ushers in some Wildhearts vibes and starts slam dancing into what FD4 were trying to achieve a few years ago. ‘Do What You Do’ starts off with some serious hard rockin’ intro before a subs like low slung verse mixed with a cool chorus. Possibly the best track on the record and I do like the breakdown there’s never enough bass and drums rundowns in punk rock.
With (unlucky for some) thirteen tracks on offer, there are no slushy ballads there might be plenty of borrowed riffs and chord changes but they dig deep into the bag of influences from the glam punks of Hanoi Rocks to the hard Rock of The Wildhearts and classic punks like the UK Subs there are plenty of songs that tap into a long line of punk rockers and I like that and Kingcrows do it really well to be fair. You bring the beer and These four will bring the tunes ‘Brute Force And Ignorance’ is a right tidy piece of punk rock n roll and that’s not always an easy thing to achieve. Nice one chaps!
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE Fungal Punk 22.4.2020
‘jump to the beat folks and get ready to reach for that precious ‘replay’ button – the pleasure is all yours’
The Kingcrows could be described as a gang of lethally toxic homosexuals with a need to twang their twiddly bits and musically molest one’s sexual membranes – this, in many ways is a very apposite description but more needs to be added to get a more lucid picture of these Yorkshire lads who have been around the block more times than deemed healthy. They are a reliable unit, ever-willing and of a good honest calibre that provides a substantial slice of goodness to any evening’s entertainment. It is many jaded moons ago that I first exposed them (phwoar), they have played several shroomed up gigs since and after a lengthy spell are set to dip in again late in 2020 – I am already semi-aroused. Here I am late with a review of their latest album, eventually though the act has been got together and these are my thoughts (for what they are worth).
Track one, ‘Psycho Radio’ – a tuning in, a snigger, a sub-rambunctious roll out of a good old sing and shout style that this lot do so ruddy well. This opening portion of grooving noise is typical of the band, upbeat, politely rebellious (paradox alert) and with a certain high impetus that makes sure, at all times, each and every player gets a good slice of the airspace and showcases the profitable contributions these pluckers, fuckers, slappers and oral slingers donate. This is a fine foundation on which to build, there is better to come, how exciting is that?
‘Blood Brothers’ drum splatters, drives like a demon along roads of harmonised juiciness and creates a surging unifying glory that gives insight into a well-versed band plugging away for the sheer fuckin’ love of it – I mean what more could you ask for! Chorus and verse chunks blend into one slip-streaming formula that has a high octane vibrancy and general feelgood pride thus giving the song ‘life exceptionale‘. One of the main ingredients the band bring to the tonal table is the fact that they have no deceit or underhand plans but instead just one routine to create a melodious racket – there is always a place for these characters and their uncomplicated output – good work chaps. ‘Car Crash Cadillac’ kicks in the engine, slaps away, grinds a few gears before taking a mid-paced route with all systems functioning in a somewhat stated unison. The change of tempo is well-received, the chuggery exact and effective, and as per, the clarity of all components is spot on the mark. A point also to make at this point is the extra beef that seems to be emanating from this latest release – am I being treated to the units greatest offering so far – time will only tell as well as the bulge in the front of my trousers, keep reading folks!
‘I Love Myself’ is the band at their best, free-flowing, upbeat and raucously rocked up whilst rolling with a ‘fuck you’ flamboyance and self-confident cockology. Even though I am a loyal bugger and dweller at the bottom with an eye and ear for things decent I can recognise the tongue-in-cheek approach here and the fact that these decent chaps are nothing like the character portrayed within the weave (thank goodness). I do like this number, the liberation and cohesion are perfectly balanced, the reckless thematics are a perfect counterpart – lovely.
‘Vic The Vigilante’ is a stunner, a tale regarding a right nosey bastard who is a self-appointed watchdog and taking the law into his own misdirected hands. The song powers along like a prowler on the look-out for a bit of bovver, the content exposes a dickhead with a disease to dabble in things not of his concern – what a world hey? The musical arrangement is heavily sinewed, the payback comes after many pose-downs and flexings with total control had throughout and a great chant foot stamp ideal for rousing the rhythmic rabble. I love a good song with meat on the bone, here I am set to get mighty fat! Into the mush of the CD we continue, ‘City Kids’ twinges, fuzzes up the airwaves, pronounces. The melodic spine is seized and massaged with the band hammering out the simple verse before cruising through the triumphant chorus that hollers out for the street corner dwelling cunts some of whom are bored, some of who are just shits and the few who are just chemically dysfunctional and without direction (darn those wank parents). The concoction here rumbles, flows, once again showcases a full on sound that sticks to the basic principles of rock and roll – what is there not to like?
A celebration of the imperfect, the wallowers in things not meant to be processed and plastic are lifted high and applauded, tis time to holler, pay homage and be thankful for the warted cacophoneers who won’t stop, can’t stop and who give us eternal hope. ‘Bum Notes And Feedback’ sums up life in the musical gutter, many wouldn’t spit on it, many use it, abuse it and then move on to things they have been told are ‘better’, oh what fools and flimsy fucks these are! I am like a pig in sonic shit with this number, I get involved, am enthused and make no apology. This is a genuine highpoint, if you don’t understand now, you never will – end of! ‘Z-List Celebrity’ crunches the strings, taps and fuckin’ zooms. The finger is raised, pointed toward one of the many fuckwits we encounter be it in the scene, in the tabloids or on the darn digital vomit box. They strut, hold in the gut, believe they are the centre of attention whilst the brown-nosing fuckers fawn and nod and help cultivate an inequality that really turns my stomach. The ambition to be ‘known’ is beyond me, it indicates a foul self-indulgence, I concentrate on things of more value – this tune in fact! The band apply themselves, go into cruise mode and come out smelling of perceptive roses – it is an easy song to get into, just par for the quality swollen course.
A celebration next, a flamboyant upchuck known as ‘Saturday Night Rock City’, a song that, in truth, meets all the expected criteria and pre-conceived ideas but does little to force itself from a very entertaining pack. This doesn’t make it a bad song, far from it, but for me it just lacks its own character, its own individual hook to get me thoroughly enthralled. I am sure after a few beers in the pit it will be a whole lot more appealing but within this excellent mush it just lacks that decisive ‘X’ factor – whatever that is! ‘One Night Only’ Tommy-Guns in, quickly gets down to the nub of the matter, races along with great endeavour and nails a tune of snagging impetus that wraps-around itself, forever pulsing and being a sure-fire pick-me-up tonic of winning ingredients. A brisk and breezy and blow-out that re-awakens the senses at such a late stage – I appreciate it.
‘Do What You Do’ pronounces, stamps down a good preparatory tonality, has a mean edge that is not to be trifled with and then a purposeful steady chug unfolds. What comes is a trifle chilled, a laid back lilt that the crew do so well, an easy coming together of all ‘believing’ accents with a shout out to the dreamers who need to dig deep and shake off the doubters and down-shouters and to just keep on letting the spirit flow. I am in line with the ethos – it warms the cockles. I am also very much a supporter of a good old piss-up and so ‘Rip It Up’ gets my vote almost before the hard-edged riffery kicks in and fuzz-fucks the awaiting receptors. The opening bars are egged on by well-slapped tympanics, a crash and bash style of organised deliberateness that gives the concoction undoubted welly! The string section is hefty, focus and penetration with the clear, effective oral offerings is instantly recognisable and rockin’. I have no complaints here, the song gets done in double quick time and we are left with one final scream – you were warned.
The final burst is labelled ‘My Heart, My Life’, a song that rises and glows mighty bright with a thirst for life, a desire to crack on and an urgency to nail this CD in the usual flamboyant and highly active style. I think they do just that, the band keep us all elevated and upbeat, rockin’ til the sun rises for a new day to start things all over again, this is a solid way to sign off – jump to the beat folks and get ready to reach for that precious ‘replay’ button – the pleasure is all yours.
The Kingcrows are a reliable and quality laden bread and butter band with many miles on the melodic clock. Here they have reached their greatest recorded high to date, have outstripped all that has gone before and cemented themselves a new foundation on which to carry on regardless. I am proud of em’, they deserve a good review like this and they deserve the growing appreciation – tis a big fuckin’ thumbs up from me – long may the journey continue.
THE KINGCROWS – BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE Planet Mosh – Louise Swift -2019 December
‘In ‘Brute Force and Ignorance’ you get a winner. I can’t use brute force to make you listen but, in this case ignorance isn’t bliss’
Leeds based Sleaze-Punk-n-Rollers The Kingcrows released their latest album Brute Force and Ignorance via Corvus Rex Recordings earlier this year. If you did Latin in school you may remember that the translation of Corvus is crow and Rex is King. I’ll leave you to work out for yourself whether it’s a self release! Were it not for a queue for the toilets at an Alice Cooper/Twisted Sister gig one Saturday Night* (in) Rock City, or the city of steel (Sheffield) The Kingcrows as we see them today may never have existed. However since that opportune male bonding at the urinal session The Kingcrows have played with many notable icons including UK Subs, Anti Nowhere League, 999 and Dead Boys to name but a few!
Whilst I had thought queuing for the next available toilet at gigs was a women’s problem it seems not, as after a few Beer & Whiskey on One Night Only, Blood Brothers Lee and Ratbag were reunited. So does this album need a good old Royal Flush down the pan or have The Kingcrows played a winning hand? Here are my Bum Notes and Feedback!
The album starts with what sounds like the tick tock of a clock, either that or heavy marching footsteps, and a psychotic joker style laugh from Phil E Stine leading nicely into the catchy tune Psycho Radio a solid opener with an Exploited vibe. Blood Brothers pummels those ears before a dirty bassline drives Car Crash Cadillac along nicely I’m thinking something like Peter Gunn, crashing into the Taxi Driver of a Brand New Cadillac make that Duane Eddy, crashes into Hanoi Rocks being chauffeured by Vince Taylor (and his Playboys). This would be a great song for Phil to get his big brass instrument out to at gigs!
I Love Myself a fast punk rock n roller, with some great lyrics which you can probably relate to, and easily sing along to, ‘I ain’t going to change, no matter what you say ‘cos I love myself just the way I am‘ ending with a drum roll and a final ‘cos I love myself and I don’t give a damn!‘. Another bass driven track comes next in Vic The Vigilante. Then the Kings become Queens for a day with City Kids a track reminiscent of Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down! Although I also picked up a choppy drumbeat akin to Adam Ant say Kings of the Wild Frontier, a right royal combination here then! The superfast Bum Notes and Feedback follows and you can raise your glass to some A-List Celebrities as Z-List Celebrity reminded me of Blondie’s One Way Or Another! The Kingcrows do Debby Harry? In their dreams!
The fast pounding beat of Saturday Night Rock City comes before the Ramones-esque One Night Only which speeds up as it goes along and had me thinking of Rockaway Beach. The punishing bass beat in Do What You Do has a flavour of jam. What flavour? You might ask, Eton Mess? No! Think something along the lines of Eton Rifles by The Jam!
Rip It Up a song with an essence of Stop Playing With Yourself by Hung Like Hanratty. Don’t stop playing this album to yourself just yet though as the end is near in My Heart, My Life the last song and a good song to end the album on, with a Buzzcocks vibe. What do I Get? In ‘Brute Force and Ignorance’ you get a winner. I can’t use brute force to make you listen but, in this case ignorance isn’t bliss as, you’d be missing out on an album packed full of sleazy rock n roll tracks!
Highlight Tracks Car Crash Cadillac and Vic The Vigilante
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND Vive Le Rock – Mark Chadderton 9/10 issue 31
‘Anthemic Upstarts – half hour ride you will feel you are atop some punk rock ferris wheel’
This quartet describe themselves as “sleaze punk rock ‘n’ roll”. “Funland” represents their first proper after 2013’s ‘Corvus Maximus’ collected together their early acclaimed EP’s. Their brand of boisterous, good-time noise deserves wider audiences through their infectious punk rock rush. All eleven tracks bring something to the party; audio adrenalin surges from the guitar driven, attitude-filled tracks, kick-started on album opener ‘Here We Go’. Sing-along choruses and backing vocals vie for aural attention and throughout this album’s half-hour ride you feel atop some punk rock ferris wheel. The harmonica arrangement on ‘She’s My Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is genius, rumbling bass on thought-provoking ‘Forgotten Son’ affords further thrills, whilst ‘Apocalypso’ neatly and encapsulates what this exhilarating band stands for.
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND Ringmaster Reviews – Pete Ring 31.7.2015
‘energetically aggressive, attitude driven, and most of all undiluted sleaze wrapped fun’
For all the exceptional punk releases and bands igniting the rock scene over recent years, there is no still no substitute yet for the special tingle which only lifts its head with a ’77 found roar. As we all know, it is a never diminishing inspirational period for punk rock and the never ending torrent of bands spawning their own identity with its antagonistic hues. Some breed a sound which is as close a cousin as you could wish for, amongst them The Kingcrows who are simply a rousing bridge between the late seventies and modern punk ‘n’ roll. Their previous releases have already made that declaration but new album Funland sets it in stone, the UK quartet involving the listener in something energetically aggressive, attitude driven, and most of all undiluted sleaze wrapped fun.Hailing from Leeds, the quartet of vocalist Phil E Stine, guitarist Lee J., bassist Rocco, and drummer Ratbag have been a bruising and thrilling live presence across the north of England moving outwards. Emerging in 2005, The Kingcrows has torn up stages with their filthy rock ‘n’ roll ever since, playing alongside the likes of Spear Of Destiny, UK Subs, The Rezillos, TV Smith, Anti Nowhere League, Tokyo Dragons, Vice Squad, The Lurkers, 999, The Vibrators, Red Alert, The Outcasts, Peter & The Test Tube Babies and many more legendary and emerging bands over the years. They have also released a clutch of attention grabbing EPs, which made an even bigger impression when collected together and released in the shape of Corvus Maximus through STP Records in 2013. The album awoke a broader focus and awareness of the band’s unfussy and virulent sound, which Funland should now push into new spotlights and recognition.The album erupts with Here We Go, the first riot initially blooming from a fairground organ and its warm invitation. Soon rhythms rumble with attitude and riffs stir up the air as the opener’s eager rock ‘n’ roll seizes ears and attention. The song is quickly into its virulent and persistent stride, cruising with jabbing beats spearing grouchy guitar and bass tenacity. The track is like a mix of Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions and The Adicts, similarity and nostalgia colluding with fresh attitude and revelry.A potent start to the album is further ignited by the following She’s My Rock ‘N’ Roll and its thrilling tempting. An alluring rhythmic enticing sparks a rockabilly bred grooving flirted with by spicy harmonica, they in turn kick-starting a heavy anthemic canter of contagious rhythms and incendiary sonic enterprise led by the ever magnetic tones of Stine. The track is glorious, punk rock at its tenacious and riotous best, and again as old school as it is imposingly new. The album’s first major pinnacle is backed, if not quite matched, by On The Road Again, a swiftly engaging and infectious stomp which has ears, feet, and appetite locked in within a handful of chords and resourceful seconds. There are no big surprises within song and arguably Funland in general, yet they only provide a nonstop and fully satisfying stomp to get eagerly involved in.A southern whisper lines the lure and rampage of Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel Songs, the track aflame with sultry guitar endeavour, inviting group vocals, and the breath and atmosphere of ’77. Lyrically it also sparks memories of times past, it all colluding in one easy going and gripping persuasion, though outshone by Forgotten Son straight after. Its opening riff comes with dark intent and imagination igniting attitude, its bait continuing to enthral as the song grows and breeds new sonic colour and lyrical drama around it. There is a touch of Angelic Upstarts to the encounter though that is but one flavour within the emotive shadows and provocative narrative on offer.The album’s title track kicks up a storm of attitude and insatiable rock ‘n’ roll next, the track forcibly prowling with essences of bands like Suburban Studs and Crisis in its armoury before making way for the irresistible presence of Kick ‘Em Down. The album is truly at its loftiest height at this point, the tasty provocateur, and its predecessor, unleashing welcomingly bullying and virulently infectious rock ‘n’ roll with the second also unveiling another tonic of harmonica belligerence, before the brilliant Apocalypso steals the whole show. Opening on a delicious throaty bass riff with tendrils of guitar adding their spice before the drums create a brooding and catchy confrontation, the track evolves into one seriously magnetic shuffle. The beats of Ratbag continue to incite song and ears with their anthemic swings, whilst around them voice, riffs, and contagion ebb and flow like virulent waves soaked in inescapable temptation.Never Gonna Fall continues the album’s elevated and invigorating energy and enjoyment with ease, its thumping presence and gait luring many strains of rock into one bulging incitement whilst Sick Of Love Songs creates its own individual fusion of old school punk and new rock ‘n’ roll. The bass of Rocco breeds a bestial snarl to its tone whilst Lee J. once again leaves sonic vapours from his searing and ever to the point exploits. Led by the beckoning delivery of Stine, the track is another hitting the sweet spot whilst proving to be another proposition you only wish its two or so minutes was stretches longer.Funland ends with Beer and Whiskey, arguably the weakest song on the album. In context though, with it holding ears and pleasure firmly in its rip-roaring escapade, it simply reinforces the might of the tracks which over shadow it. It is indeed a fine end to an excellent slab of rock ‘n’ roll, Funland rigorously feeding appetites for seventies punk and today’s punk ‘n’ roll from start to finish.2015 has already been blessed with some mighty punk offerings which The Kingcrows now rival if not surpass with their new proposal, but few of those others will become as big a favourite as Funland is destined to be we suggest.
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND Pure Rawk Andy Close 4/5
‘This is simple from-the-heart honest-to-goodness rock ‘n’ roll which is all about going to the gig, enjoying a few beers and having some fun’
Debut album proper from Leeds glam-punks The Kingcrows following a couple of mini-albums, Funland is pretty much a straight continuation of the sound from aforementioned mini-albums A Murder Most Foul and Up Before The Beak, and that’s no bad thing.For those who haven’t encountered The Kingcrows before, they’re very much Yorkshire’s answer to the fast, fun and filthy brand of pint ‘n’ scratchings rock ‘n’ roll of bands like Dirt Box Disco and Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions. There’s not a lot here that’ll surprise you – it’s all tales of girls (“She’s My Rock ‘n’ Roll”), booze (“Beer And Whiskey”) and touring (“On The Road Again”), but what makes The Kingcrows so enjoyable is the lack of pretension. Even when they’re trying to put a relatively serious message across such as on “Apocalypso”, they can’t help but weld it to a big shoutalong chorus and stomping riff, and anyone who’s had the misfortune to have had to sit through an Ed Sheeran song on the radio would have to agree with the sentiments behind “Sick Of Love Songs”. This is simple from-the-heart honest-to-goodness rock ‘n’ roll which is all about going to the gig, enjoying a few beers and having some fun. And that counts for more than a lot of folks’d tell you.There’s nothing contrived about Funland the way there is with some bands of this genre, and The Kingcrows sound like they’re having an absolute blast playing through these songs, and you suspect that these tunes’ll sound just as good in the live arena as they do on this record. All in all, this is good solid rock ‘n’ roll fun. FINAL THOUGHTS: Funland isn’t exactly rocket science but it’s smart enough to know that good rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t necessarily have to be. What it is though is a good album that’ll have your toe tapping and your head nodding and put a smile on your face throughout. All in all, this is a good effort.
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND The Punk Site – A.J.Phink
‘The pace doesn’t relent for a second on any of the eleven cuts contained on Funland and that’s how it should be for a band like this’
The Kingcrows have been with us for about ten years now, they have been relentlessly following their own path and display an unshakeable belief in themselves. If I tell you their latest album, Funland, contains significant traces of both Motorhead and The Ramones in it’s DNA then that description should give you a pretty good idea of where they are coming from, this is bare knuckle high octane rock ‘n roll.
The Kingcrows play their brand of rock ‘n roll with energy and style, for me this is what elevates them above many other bands that tread this this well worn path, they do it with conviction and they do it really well. The pace doesn’t relent for a second on any of the eleven cuts contained on Funland and that’s how it should be for a band like this, if I want thoughtfulness and introspection I know where I can find it, full tilt rock ‘n roll doesn’t need to be either of those things. The opening track, Here We Go, is a mission statement, from the opening chords you know exactly what you’re in for from this point on. The subject matter on the rest of the songs will come as no surprise, tales of the rock ‘n roll lifestyle, rallying calls against the mainstream culture and of course alcohol.
This is a band that will produce few surprises but you don’t always want to be challenged and surprised, sometimes you just need something that makes you feel alive and The Kingcrows do that in spades. Now that both Motorhead and The Ramones are no more we need someone to fill the yawning chasm they left in their wake, I think The Kingcrows could well be the band to bridge that gap, they are energising, fun and whilst there are no surprises in Funland it certainly gets the adrenaline going.
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND Uberrock – Johnny H
‘fit to bursting with great tunes – I would recommend it to anyone who likes their music fast, furious and filthy’
Roll up, roll up for the all new fast, furious and filthy album from Leeds based rapscallions The Kingcrows, rather appropriately entitled ‘Funland’. What you get here for your entry money folks is eleven tracks of punk rock and roll that sit somewhere in the gap between The Babysitters splitting up and Goldblade forming. As such this is not really game changing stuff, it’s really four blokes (Phil E Stine on vocals, Lee J on guitar, Rocco on bass and Ratbag on drums) just blasting through their own tunes like their lives depend on it. In fact it’s credit to the guys that they do this instead of taking the far easier tribute/covers band route, and in the process selling their souls thus condemning them to buy their music in supermarkets for all eternity. Good on you lads. Once the fairground pipe organ intro to ‘Here We Go’ has died down we are soon off and running, Ratbag’s drums pumping the record into action amidst a whirlwind of razor sharp guitars all topped off with a fine and dandy glam/punk melody line from Stine, and that is pretty much where the record stays for the next ten tracks and twenty odd minutes. There are no real shocks or surprises here other than a slightly too high in the mix harmonica present on ‘She’s My Rock ‘N’ Roll’, and ‘Kick ‘Em Down’ (which perhaps doffs its cap to Cock Sparrer’s ‘Watch Your Back’ in the melody of the verses) that kind of distracts me from what would otherwise be two really decent songs. This might just be me mind you….I’ll leave you to decide otherwise. Other than this very small gripe though the tunes in general are all mighty fine up-tempo rockers with my personal favourites being the anthemic ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel Songs’, and a song I hold very true to my (dodgy) heart indeed ‘Sick Of Love Songs’, where the band’s hatred of the vacuous shite mainstream radio peddles is all wrapped up in 2:21 minutes of top notch punk rock. As I said at the start whilst The Kingcrows are never likely to be the next big thing, and that is I guess why – as their logo so very wryly states – they carrion regardless. ‘Funland’ though is fit to bursting with great tunes and that bloody Thomas The Tank Engine harmonica aside I would recommend it to anyone who likes their music fast, furious and filthy.
THE KINGCROWS – FUNLAND Fungalpunk Dave
‘good guys deserve a break and need something to showcase their true talent and get them some note – this CD ticks all the right and relevant boxes’
A belated CD review here due to the request only coming in of late and me being snowed under with many elements borne from many areas. I have done much with The Kingcrows over the years and remember in the early days when they seemed stuck on the Northern area carousel and were producing fine quality noise to many who weren’t really that interested (quite shocking and an occurrence only too fuckin’ frequent for me). I did my bit (albeit DIY pure and Fungalised) and the band got a little more recognition, played elsewhere, were noticed some more and from there the rest is pure musical history. The band at last are receiving due acclaim for their efforts and I wish them all the best and so dip in to their tuneage and see if the cogwheels are moving in the right direction. Underpants of honesty donned, pecker of critique left dangling and fine salty writing fluid ready to be spilt – pass me the Kleenex please! Away we go and after a dawdle in the midst of fairground sinisterism the opening riff of ‘Here We Go’ smacks home with ardent and fervid necessity and immediately exposes a new found echelon of productive and complimentary tonality. The pressing pace and lucidity of the gushing avalanche combines with a penetrating weight that gives the song a certain extra validity and prominence that will serve the band well on their recent upswing. One essential ingredient the band don’t forget is their well-tried and tested melodic approachability that again is highly evident on this opening blast of confident quality. I move on before I over indulge in a flood of text and trip over my impressed key-tapping carcass (tis passion tha’ knows). ‘She’s My Rock ‘n’ Roll’ moves in next with equal prowess and rapidity and once more embraces all the exacting and impressive elements of the band as well as the new found glory mentioned. A foot stamp of sound, a choo choo pipe up of encouraging zest and a grinding hook are all the ingredients needed to keep one thoroughly absorbed and the well blended throat croons, the animated drum tumbles add bonus strength to the whole spillage. Two down and all is fuckin’ fine – can the hat-trick be had? ‘On The Road Again’ stings the back of the sonic net with sublime force and accuracy and transpires into what is, the best song of the lot thus far (in my lowly estimation). A thoroughly unconstrained account that is shackle free and from the opening crispness and seat-belted verse through to the soaring chorus it elevates the whole set scenario and gives a solid contribution to the fluid donations that ooze class and clout.Onto to track 4 and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel Songs’, a song that has a title that says it all, a rock city roll around borne from healthy spirits and souls that live the life of louts making loud music and, indeed, loving it. A youthful naiveté is captured and takes us to a time when we picked up and played and felt a surge of hope via the vibes penetrating our framework. An easy number to munch on, as is the following ‘Forgotten Son’, an effort that is slower and steadier but has the usual inflection and snagging elements that make The Kingcrows so fuckin’ listenable. An ease of progression and a fluid tactical smoothness convinces me over and over again and yet I feel the band are still not punishing themselves and have the foot firmly set and under control – oh the talented bastards.’Funland’ is the title track and despite being decent enough doesn’t stand out as anything special. Is that because the standard is just too high throughout? Could well be. Anyway this one ploughs straight in, adopts a pair of studded blinkers and demands some heavy supping and slurping. Tis the zipping thrustiness of this one and the high wire danger that propels we listeners forward and after the previous care-laden tune it is sweet to get such a blow-out – good stuff my dear chaps. ‘Kick Em’ Down’ comes next and is a minor peach plucked from a flourishing bush of rhythmic fruit that sees the rind of the verse outshine the inner flesh of the chorus, which of course has me chewing on the possibility of if only a top dollar chorus was had then what a pure mouth-watering stunner we could have really bitten into. Nay bother, I crack on nonetheless.’Apocalypso’ bass rumbles, screw winds with care, tympanically rises from tribal substrates where a verse ensues in comfortable tub thump, two step routine that will ensnare oral assistance and have the ‘live’ louts bouncing. The chorus follows the trend and alters the output with a forthright combo-punch option. Liking is particularly had for the following mouth off that is nicely outside the main thread of the song – a cute touch. ‘Never Gonna Fall’ immediately summons thoughts of a defiant number built on growled warnings and ‘keep your distance’ threats. Instead what we get is a more embracing tune that keeps things light and without too much abrasiveness. It is in keeping with the set trend but I do wonder if a mistake is had here and a chance at changing direction lost. Hey ho, not a bad track nonetheless although the weakest runt of the pack comes next under the guise of ‘Sick Of Love Songs’, a ditty that starts mighty pretty with a gripe in the cavernous gut and a relieving chorus but a song that then gets carried away by too much whinging about a pet hate and overdoing a rather turgid flow. The spiral to the ‘PIL’ led final utterance is neat and the short running time is extra salvation but this is my least favourite spillage of the lot. Thankfully the simplicity and all round alco-goodness of the partified celebration known as ‘Beer And Whiskey’ brings the CD to a foaming closure with the band pouring in their consummate all and providing us with a smile and slurp snippet to jig and swig to. I’ll sign off here and add nothing more to this individual assessment, best to always finish on a high. The Kingcrows have progressed and it has been a grand journey to behold. This is without doubt the bands best release to date and I am really happy about that. Sometimes the good guys deserve a break and need something to showcase their true talent and get them some note – this CD ticks all the right and relevant boxes.
THE KINGCROWS – CORVUS MAXIMUS Mass Movement Tom Chapman
‘three minute punk rock anthems that are designed to hit hard and fast’
After a number of EPs, collected together on the Corvus Maximus release and following some well-received live shows, this new album from Leeds punk’n’roll band The Kingcrows comes highy anticipated. The good news is that this won’t disappoint their fans. The ‘Crows have honed their blend of 77 punk and sleaze rock, with other influences appearing here and there to keep things fresh. Building on some big chorus lines they make sure the singalong factor is present throughout the album. They keep their approach simple and direct without extended guitar solos or other filler material. When listening to this I am reminded of names such as The Lurkers, The Wildhearts or Dirt Box Disco, but I don’t think that The Kingcrows actually sound like any of the above as they have managed to really define their musical personality on this release. Although the sound is varied there is a consistency and flow to the album which helps make it very listenable. Eleven three minute punk rock anthems that are designed to hit hard and fast, and that’s exactly what they have achieved with this release.
THE KINGCROWS – CORVUS MAXIMUS Tbfm Online
‘a heroic album of reunited songs, which should not only be a joy to die-hard local fans, but to all lovers of punky-sleaze who have yet to discover this raw band’
This week I’ve managed to get my hands on this brand-new CD from Leeds based Punkers, The Kingcrows. It’s not just any old album either, ‘Corvus Maximus’ is a round-up of 3 previously released EP’s (A Murder Most Foul , Magdelene  and Up Before The Beak  with each track having been lovingly re-mastered, thanks to the bands chosen producer, Grant Henderson, at Loom Studios. It’s nice to see all 17 songs under one roof, with a fresh coat of polish thrown in. The Kingcrows have been together since 2005 and have dealt with all the trials and tribulations you would expect a self-supported, underground band (of any genre) to face. From line-up changes; to the over-familiar war of ‘Money versus Art’; and the struggles of gigging original material amongst a declining, live-audience demographic – it’s plain to see that such factors have most likely (and perhaps inevitably) contributed to the creation of their latest venture. The fact that I’m sat here reviewing ‘Corvus Maximus’, is a testament to the band’s perseverance and love for their music. So, let’s talk about what this album brings to the table. The 3rd track, ‘What She Does To You’ particularly grabbed my attention with its strong sense of character. The bass guitar makes first entrance, unleashing a catchy melody in a warm and slightly distorted tone. The guitar and drums then follow in hot pursuit with some strong and well sustained guitar chords complimented by some highly stylish and energetic tom-work. The result is a compelling atmosphere that is both intriguing and mischievous (as the name of the track suggests) reminding me of ‘The Dead Kennedys’ in some ways.I enjoy the tune ‘Lunchtime at Lubys’; it has a jig to it; making me think of that Celtic punk band from the USA, ‘The DropKick Murphys’. If you want an inside opinion, the track is described by ‘TKC’ drummer, Ratbag, as being ‘Motorhead gone country’ – giving an even clearer idea of what to expect here. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this song for me, though, is its controversial subject matter. It tells the story of the ‘Luby’s Cafeteria Massacre’ (Killeen, Texas, 1991) in which 35 year old George Hennard, drove his pickup-truck through the cafeteria’s front window, before shooting 23 people dead and wounding 20 others. Hennard then concluded his spree of death by blowing his own brains out…mmm, yummy! One track I simply must cover before the end of this review is ‘Writing On the Wall’. Being an acoustic number, the song oozes soul and realism with a hint of seriousness. I get the impression that it practically wrote itself – possibly down to the familiar sounding chord progression, or even the stark-grittiness of the song’s subject matter. The lyrics talk about a man struggling with alcoholism and his (consequential) cry for help. The themes, words, and music cement together, effortlessly – creating a solid image of human vulnerability. I am impressed by the sparse arrangement in this tune; how the bass and drums hold back for the entire first verse before joining the chorus. I also like the simplistic drum-fills that can be heard half way through each verse as the song progresses. The band has succeeded in giving the track its own signature identity. Corvus Maximus is a heroic album of reunited songs, which should not only be a joy to die-hard local fans, but to all lovers of punky-sleaze who have yet to discover this raw band. You won’t find these guys in the mainstream or as part of some major record label – but that’s the point. There’s something to be learned from their creativity, years of experience, and sheer love of their craft.
THE KINGCROWS – CORVUS MAXIMUS Uberrock Darrel Sutton 25.5.2013
‘All in all this is a very good album and highly recommended for anyone who prefers their punk rock organically created from practice rooms that smell of piss, sweat and beer’
DIY music really is like no other art form. Done for nothing more than the love of money, blasting out whatever floats your boat, recording what you can when you can afford it from what’s left of the petrol money you had left over from the last few gigs. And that’s what makes it so captivating, because what goes into a DIY recording is the heart and soul of the band and regardless how “awesome” it may or may not sound the spirit and bollocks of the band making the noise is worth a million auto-tuned vocals or “brutal” guitar overdubs tweaked to perfection.
Anyway what the fuck has this got to do with The Kingcrows you may ask? Well they happen to be one of the bands who fit the first paragraph to a tee. They might not be the most technically proficient, best produced band or have a string of anthems waiting to take the world by storm but by fuck are they a band that get under your skin and pretty much demand you shake your stuff to their grubby rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Bringing together the contents of the ‘Murder Most Foul’, ‘Magdelene’ and ‘Up Before The Beak’ EPs which were released between the years outlined in the album title, what we have here is a selection of tunes that bring to mind the music of the early ’80s, which anyone old enough will remember with fondness. ‘Revolution Street’ and the cheeky ‘Sex, Oui’ could quite easily have found the band a support slot at the 100 Club back in that heyday, with their early-Damned with a touch of psychobilly vibe.The ‘Magdelene’ tracks mix a bit higher tempo (the track ‘Magdelene’) with almost Members-like stylings (‘In For The Kill’). The latter day tracks see a slightly chunkier sound coming to bear with ‘Don’t You Know’ riding on some great riffs and gang vocals. ‘Renegade’ ups the pace considerably while ‘The Kids Are All Wrong’ brings the always excellent No Choice to mind. And in the best traditions they keep the best until last with ‘Friday Night Heroes’ (there’s also an un-credited track after this of which I have no fucking idea of the title but is also choice). All in all this is a very good album and highly recommended for anyone who prefers their punk rock organically created from practice rooms that smell of piss, sweat and beer rather than fine-tuned by Timothy Fucksname and his Pro Tools fuck buddies.
THE KINGCROWS – CORVUS MAXIMUS The Front Row Report Dave Nicholls 8.5/10
‘a band who live, breath and love what they do – and the result is something pretty special indeed’
With a determination to do things their own way, The Kingcrows describe themselves as “Leeds’ scuzziest sleaze-punk-n-roll maniacs” – which sounds like quite a claim to make!
Formed in 2005, The Kingcrows have already shared the stage with the likes of Spear Of Destiny, UK Subs, Tokyo Dragons and Anti Nowhere League, as well as making appearances at the Nice N Sleazy festival in Morecambe on several years. With a desire to “spread their insanity further and bring their manic, fun rock’n’roll show to as many people as possible”, their latest offering, Corvus Maximus, showcases recordings from 2009 to 2011, and aims to further hook people into their punk sound, and with influences ranging from Motorhead through to Hanoi Rocks through to AC/DC, this promises to be one hell of a ride.
What’s always interesting on a collection such as Corvus Maximus is that you can hear the development of the band from start to finish, and as Hanging Around launches us into the punk rock frenzy that is The Kingcrows, it’s almost as if we’re hearing a band who are just setting out on the journey into music. Fast paced guitars work with hammering drums and urgent vocals to form a sound that’s unmistakeably punk and raw, hooking you in from the word go. Originally from their 2009 album A Murder Most Foul we’re led through the opening moments into Stiletto Grooveand on through What She Does To You and Sex, Oui, all the time being led by the punk fuelled melee on hand. It’s when Revolution Street arrives that the first high point of the album is achieved, offering up a hook fuelled punk track that packs a punch and satisfies that raw craving deep inside, setting the bar high for the rest of the album for sure.
Moving onto Magdelene (from their 2010 album of the same name) the development begins to shine through, demonstrating the journey the band have gone through and showing how they’ve developed as a band, and their sound. With In For The Kill offering up the second serious high point, once again the guitar takes over and we’re propelled into a track that’s sure to get you moving, shifting, and reaching for a beer to accompany the sound – it’s proper punk’n’roll music done damned well indeed.
Reaching the final album tracks (from their 2011 album, Up Before The Beak) we’re treated to a further 7 tracks, from Who Are The Madmen through to Party and on to Don’t You Know. The third serious high point comes about in the form of Renegades though, showing further development in their sound and ushering in a fast paced and hammering offering that’s surely built for the live scene. Closing after a whopping 18 tracks it’s impossible not to be impressed by an album that doesn’t just record the history of a band in album form, but musically demonstrates how The Kingcrows developed throughout the two years being charted.
All too often the term ‘punk’ is banded about and over used, not necessarily reflecting the music being played but instead, simply being the best fit category for a band who aren’t quite sure what they’re doing. With The Kingcrows that’s not the case, and throughout Corvus Maximus we’re shown a band who live, breath and love what they do – and the result is something pretty special indeed.
THE KINGCROWS – A MURDER MOST FOUL New Reviews
‘get those heads moshing and bodies jumping at a live gig…Now come on – Sing along!’
“Upon first reading the title of this e.p, it didn’t sound the nicest of titles… But hey! That’s Rock n’ Roll! I immediately like the front cover, with a banner of ‘crime scene do not cross’ across the middle and the title dripping blood below! You are probably thinking ‘charming…’ but don’t be put off, it is definitely worth a listen.
The first track that meets my ears is ‘Hanging around’ and if you haven’t already noticed, I tend to listen to the cd whilst writing!
I like it’s quick pace and the backing vocals are very well suited and timed, I could imagine this fitting well into a skate game! If it gets people pumping in the virtual sense then it would definitely get those heads moshing and bodies jumping at a live gig. I soon find myself singing ‘Baby baby…’ It is a very catchy song, although not of the type that drives you insane!
Their next track ‘Stiletto Groove’ is cleverly written, and again the backing vocals are brilliant. I like the lyrics, they are quite funny and it is another song that you can soon catch onto, and sing along with (even if my singing sounds like something dying a painful death…).
‘What she does to you’ is another I could see working well in a game! I would like to experience it at a live gig, and I bet there wouldn’t be one person (even those miserable buggers) that would be bobbing their leg about, itching to jump about and sing! I especially like the drums about two minutes in, they build up the song well until it bursts out again.
I like the beginning of their next track ‘Sex, Oui’ is quite a funky song, I like the subtle ‘ahh ahh ahhh’ in the background, it suits it well. It is another great track, which gets you singing along very easily! So, my advice people… Get this on your ipod, and sing aloud and proud!
‘Revolution Street’ has a great opening, I like the drums yet again (Go Ratbag!). I like the vocals, although it is not quite stealing my favourite choice… Which is a tough one between ‘Stiletto Groove’ which makes me laugh, and ‘Sex, Oui’!
Although I like the ‘Woaaah Yeah’s’ in this song! I could imagine everyone swinging their arms around at a gig, and soon ‘Woaahh Yeah’ -ing along!
‘One of the boys’ is nice and heavy, with a great entrance building up the song straight away. They definitely have the idea with their ‘Hey hey hey!’ and ‘ahhhh’s! It is definitely a song guys would be turning around and singing to each other! Between clapping!
The last track (Boo hoo we have reached the end…) ‘Writing on the wall’ has a nice rhythm throughout it, and I don’t know how they do it! But yet again I’m singing along! Although it may not be as heavy or quick as their other tracks, it has a nice feel to it and I love the guitar, it is just right. Now come on… Sing along! ‘It’s all so overrated….’
Check them out for yourselves, and grab a copy of their e.p!
THE KINGCROWS – A MURDER MOST FOUL Studs & Punks Fungal Punk OMD Amanita
‘Good lads to deal with, a great ‘live’ show and with a powerful arsenal of songs to meet most punk needs I reckon that the future can only look rosy for these punking buggers’
I love it when a band gives me an album to review and they don’t fulfil their true potential.
No I ain’t no punk music pervert who gets his kicks out of other peoples shortcomings – please bear with me. You see if a band releases an album and it is decent enough but yet is more than a little obvious in the fact that the outfit have a lot more in reserve then I feel as though the reviewers job can really shine through and the few pointers and encouraging words used that can hopefully provoke a future improvement in the general all round sound are hopefully at their most effective.
As a reviewer I always state that any fucker can slate an album, anyone can do a one spin assessment and palm a band off with a less than thoughtful appraisal and any cunt can talk a lot of twaddle without any substance but, only the ones who love the scene and really want it, and the bands found therein, to improve will put the work in to several listens and the final assessment. I try to adopt the latter approach and hopefully can do The Kingcrows justice with their new found noise that really hits the mark after a previous decent but subdued release.
We get the ball rolling here with the new confidence of ‘Hanging Around’. A song that feedbacks forth before a quick bass vibe is tackled by some clashing guitars and drum spills. The vocals follow and the first chorus comes and goes with ease before the pleading chorus commences with the helpless wordage ‘Baby, baby please….’.
The improvement from the last release is instantaneously apparent and the bonus is that the CD just grows with listen-ability with each silver spin. A good opening track to savour although my young daughter does say the follow track is not only better but the best track of the CD. Who am I to argue? ‘Stiletto Groove’ has big times drums to greet us and a superb hip swinging choppy guitar leash to keep us stuck to the speakers. There is a real rock and roll groove here and the accuracy of the overall delivery only intensifies the sonic spectrum further and so has the listener totally absorbed.
The Kingcrows are making a big impression on me and with this latest release I am seeing nothing other than a fruitful future awash with encouraging feedback and positive musical moves. My missus and aforementioned daughter are impressed as well with this crew so a veritable fungalised hat-trick here and that is indeed rare praise.
‘What She Does To You’ has a more heavier sound (only a little mind you) and gives hint at a more serious tone of tuneage. There is a head down insistence that seems to be fully directed towards the finishing line which gives an attracting appeal. Again the underlying R ‘n’ R groove is maintained and the mini break at 1 min 26 seconds is fuckin’ marvellous and mightily frustrating with its transient appearance. Back to the forward march and we reach the end tape just short of the 3 minute mark in what seems a much terser space of time. The sign of a good song – I think so!
‘Sex Oui’ adopts a more standardised approach and swings in with a bizarre unhinged pre Kalinka sound that has me reaching for the fur-trimmed boots and Cossack barnet cover. Way off the mark perhaps but such is the mind of a warped mushroom man. I love this song and the crowds should be singing along to this in their drunken hordes. (Apologies for mentioning crowds when reviewing a punk band – fuck me I almost believed people actually turn-up to watch these great bands – note: heavy sarcasm intend ya fuckin’ bastards). Anyway I love this track and all I can say is ‘Sex Oui’ – Oui!
‘Revolution Street’ is one of the bands ‘live’ signature numbers that always gets the punters interest. They have done it justice here and made it both memorable on disk as well as in the gigging arena. The simple ‘Whoa hoa yeah’ that inter-cuts each verse line will win favour and the chorus is basic but does the job. In fact most sing-a-along beauties are of a tendency that lean towards the most unflowery of styles. Best fuckin’ way if you ask me and not as easy to compose as one thinks!
A corroded guitar comes next before a flash harry twinkle deceives and in no way gives hint at the following Oi-esque street burst that gets back to the gutter and grits it out. ‘One Of The Boys’ throws the listener somewhat and shows that the band can turn things on their head at the drop of a hat. A good crack to be had and we close with an effort which is the best, the most unexpected and the most delightful way with which to end this choice CD for the underdog connoisseur. There maybe ‘Writing On The Wall’ but nothing of the ominous kind for this ever-impressive band. This crackin’ acoustic delivery is a sobered piece that exhibits quality musicianship and constructive know-how with a temperament that is blue and ensnared within its own misery. The emotions are relayed from disc to eardrum with precision and the complete composite is a joy.
What can I say – The KC crew have nailed a good un’ and punk rock promoters should be booking these as soon as they get the chance. Good lads to deal with, a great ‘live’ show and with a powerful arsenal of songs to meet most punk needs I reckon that the future can only look rosy for these punking buggers. Anyone who deems themselves as an underdog enthusiast should get this, see the band and try and push their cause – we are in it together and the loss to the punk rock community when bands like this get sold short makes me fuckin’ sick. Go on chance yer arm and make a myspace visit and let your support flourish. Punk needs you and so do The Kingcrows.
THE KINGCROWS – A MURDER MOST FOUL Glitzine Barry Gennard 8/10
‘Garage rock with a punk edge (ala The Yo Yo’s) is your thing then you should love these guys‘
Punk, Rock, Glam, Garage band The Kingcrows return with their new 7 track EP “A Murder Most Foul” and instantly you can see the improvement from the last release, and an added bonus is that the CD just grows in listen-ability with each new spin!
‘Stiletto Groove’ is cleverly written with an almost chaotic sound, with so much going on it almost threatens to fall apart, but the band pull it off and the song is just great!
‘Sex, Oui’ is quite a funky song, showing that this band isn’t a one trick pony by any means. To be honest I could list all seven tracks, as they all bring something to the plate, which is another plus.
If Garage rock with a punk edge (ala The Yo Yo’s) is your thing then you should love these guys!
THE KINGCROWS – A MURDER MOST FOUL Savage Amusement
‘punk rock energy to stand out from the crowd’
The Sweet and Slade made some great singles but every time you hear the word ‘glam’ these days it’s either the Americanised rock variety and/or pop/indie wimpsville. Not so with this band from Leeds. They have the necessary punk rock energy to stand out from the crowd. The lyrics – like all their contemporaries – are pretty throwaway, but “Hanging Around” and “One Of The Boys” (no not a predictable cover) are cracking tunes with great Slaughter & The Dogs bass sound, raw guitars and the crash cymbal takes a good battering which is always good to see. Even the less impressive, more psychobilly tinged numbers ain’t bad, and they somehow manage to do a good acoustic tune to round off this 7 tracker (“Writing On The Wall” will be a classic when they get round to doing a full band version).
THE KINGCROWS – MAGDALENE EP Uberrock Dom Daley
‘Raw, catchy and direct…mighty fine and catchier than any STD’
Leeds-based The Kingcrows have tickled my fancy and I don’t mind admitting it. Why? You might ask. Well, this EP follows on the heels of the impressive ‘A Murder Most Foul’ and boasts four tracks (it credits three on the sleeve but the fourth is a hidden cover of ‘The Letter’ which is mighty fine and catchier than any STD).
Playing a raw punk sound that also has more than a foot in what I’d call the real glam camp – not the watered down powder puff metal that generally gets knocked out from the States but proper glam rock like the stuff that was pouring out of the UK in the 70’s – all raw and trashy, plus some other early 80’s bands with a punk/glam edge. I’m hearing influences like The Damned when ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ came out and a hint of ‘Strawberries’ era, especially on the opening of ‘In For The Kill’, but whilst you get the harmonies from glam you also have the directness of bands like the Buzzcocks and, for my palette, a sound not a million miles from the Soho Roses (if I may be so bold). Maybe that’s the inspiration for the harmonies on the choruses but, regardless of where they are drawing their inspiration from, this is a bloody good EP and a great introduction to the band’s music and what they’re capable of putting together.
Raw, catchy and direct, The Kingcrows clearly know and understand what it takes to punk rock ‘n’ roll the old school way and I’m liking it a lot. This is honest, authentic and thoroughly charming in all the right ways. Now pop over to the band’s website and pick up a copy of this insanely cheap EP – you won’t regret it. ‘My my my my Magdelene’