Still hammering away in 2023 as if it were still the 80’s are L.A peroxide legends King Kobra.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: King Kobra
ALBUM: We Are Warriors
LABEL: Deadline Music / Cleopatra Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Carmine Appice – drums, Johnny Rod – bass * Paul Shortino – lead vocals * Carlos Cavazo, Rowan Robertson – guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01Music Is A Piece of Art * 02 Turn Up The Music * 03 Secrets And Lies * 04 Drownin’ * 05 One More Night * 06 Love Hurts * 07 Dance * 08 Darkness * 09 We Are Warriors * 10 Drive Like Lightning * 11 Trouble * 12 Side By Side
Still hammering away in 2023 as if it were still the 80’s are L.A peroxide legends King Kobra. In saying that though, this is the bands first studio album in ten years (not counting their live 2018 release from the Sweden Rock Festival), and it features a new guitar back line in Carlos Cavazo (Snow, Quiet Riot and Ratt) and Englishman Rowan Robertson, in the early 90’s edition of Dio. Of course the other three of Appice, Shortino and Rod are mainstays.
The music here is not the usual flash bang harry stuff we’ve heard from King Kobra from decades gone by. Instead, they divert to a heavy blues driven style of rock, of which many similar bands are featured on GDM such as Kingdom Come, Little Caesar, Beggars And Thieves as examples. Paul Shortino’s vocals are tailor-made for this style as you’ll soon hear on the twelve assembled tracks.
It was reported a while back that this album would be called ‘Music Is A Piece of Art’, but obviously that never happened. The song though treads a heavy southern rock sound, the lead guitar even has some slide guitar parts for good measure, plus the lead guitar solo spot blazes away in fine fashion.
‘Turn Up The Music’ is a heavy handed number, with the same type of presence as Led Zeppelin used to be renowned for plus all the copy cats that followed years later such as Triumph and Kingdom Come. ‘Secrets And Lies’ is a fast paced track that kinda sounds old school, however it’s very energetic with a load of frenetic guitar going on. ‘Drownin’ is preceded by some sludgy riffs but eventually breaks the shackles for some decent hard rock.
‘One More Night’ is a surging rocker, the tempo is reasonably quick action on the choruses, though the overall sound is anchored by that aforementioned blues/hard rock hybrid. King Kobra even give the old chestnut ‘Love Hurts’ an update, though surprising that it’s more subdued than the Nazareth classic rendition, but kudos to the boys for putting it out there.
‘Dance’ is a dense groove laden affair. It’s not something you’d expect from King Kobra, and by the way, listening to this I was not inclined to dance. The two guitarists lay down some thick riffage on ‘Darkness’, it’s quite powerful and heavy. The title track ‘We Are Warriors’ sounds more like the King Kobra of old, everything comes together nicely, though this is not a copycat of Manowar who seem to have templated the ‘warrior’ theme to death.
‘Drive Like Lightning’ is KK’s obligatory road song, hard hitting whilst keeping in the groove. Cruising down the highway was never quite like this. ‘Trouble’ is a very blues oriented number though at the heavier end of the scale. ‘Side By Side’ finishes the album, the band sounding more commercial than the earlier material heard before.
King Kobra are back which is always a good thing from the perspective of a diehard hard rock follower. The switch to a bluesy hard classic rock model is understandable I guess, considering that sub-genre is still in vogue while 80’s glam metal went out with the tide decades ago. ‘We Are Warriors’ is probably not a album I’ll be listening to with great enthusiasm looking forward, but glad to have given it a run through regardless.