Sunday, 16 March 2014

GIFTED KINGS - ALBUM REVIEW

Gifted Kings - Lose What Makes You 
Gifted Kings - Lose What Makes You

Two pairs of Glaswegian brothers walk in to a bar and, well, depending on your prejudices that joke any number of ways, many of them violent. In this case, however, the siblings are more likely to strap on a guitar, crank things up to eleven and rock the kilts off you (I'll leave the Scottish thing alone now, promise). Gifted Kings open their debut album with one of the best warning shot tracks I've heard in a long time as 'Rains Will Come' throbs and grinds in to life like a rock behemoth. 'The Last Time' continues in the same vein with ominously rumbling bass lines and guitar work that is not merely confident, it's downright cocky but with every reason to be so you kinda don't mind. Things take a turn for the mellower (i.e. acoustic) on 'No One Knows' which allows Derek Murray's vocals to shine a little better without having to battle with his brother Andy's lead guitar work - it's still a belter of an indie-rock track though.

It's quite difficult to pitch these guys in a line-up of similar bands (never a bad thing) but you're looking at stadium sized acts like Stereophonics, the Killers, Simple Minds or Snow Patrol at their more lively. 'Drive' has some great chiming guitars which beg for a huge sea of people to wash over while 'Dead End Road' is a foot stomping, bass slapping piece of triumphal rock that will appear to dads and emo kids alike. My only irk with this album so far is that the vocals feel a little reserved and you kinda want to Del boy to really unleash to power the songs forward a little more - these are big tunes and they need a big voice on them to take them to the next level. 'Tell Me Something' is up next with a jerky rhythm and no sense of letting up on the rock'n'roll but 'Fortune In The City' has a more classic rock feel to it, like the might Led Zep might pump out to get a crowd's attention.

I would dare to suggest that Gifted Kings aren't the finished article as songs like 'Last Trace Of The Sun' are instantly forgettable indie-rock fodder and 'Wait' does little to improve things on that front. 'Neon', on the other hand, has some nice chord changes to it and an earthy, Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe to it which I am instantly drawn too. The album closes with 'Written On The Wall' which echoes the refrain that started the album and finds the quartet finishing on a strong note at least. If Gifted Kings had chopped about four songs from this album it would have been a tighter, more punchy affair but as it is 'Lose What Makes You' is a collection of some very good indie-rock anthems in need of a bit of tweaking with a little bit of padding. Some bands don't manage that level once in their career so this ain't bad at all for a first attempt.


More information: www.giftedkings.com 

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