Kevin K - Rock n' Roll Dynamite

Looking like a cross between Andy McCoy and Keith Richards, Kevin K is back once again with his harmonious backing, to produce yet another album full of chain smoking, beer swilling, down and dirty songs to rock your socks off. A true old style rocker with a loveable rogue-ish charm. If you are lucky enough to have passed his way before then this album has a darker and more diverse sound to previous, although at times adding in and playing around with the some of the style that he achieved with previous New York punk band 'The Toys' (later becoming the 'New Toys') back in the late 70's. Yes this guy has been going a while, but the experience and hard working talent shines through effortlessly, with an amazingly graceful and youthful voice.

There's endless familiarity throughout, a touch of Alice Cooper, a hint of the New York Dolls, a splash of the MC5, many moments to reminisce to the times when this scene was widely accepted.

'Down In the Sewer' and 'Hillbilly Man' have a dirty sleaze filled influence, while 'Call' has a Ramones filled vibe throughout. The darker sounds infiltrate towards the end of the album, only lifting momentarily for the pop/punk style love song 'She', which you can imagine being used in years to come as some naff advert theme, but kids everywhere will be writing into Points of View asking who on earth sings this rocking tune. It's a shame to think that that is as wildly known as this may get, unfortunately it isn't the time for real honest speaking, from the heart music anymore.

Finally a great cover of Iggy Pops 'Death Trip', done deliciously well, and a superb end to a superb album, although being covered many times, this version is perfect to the note.

by Sharron Grainger

 

When I played this, my first thought was of a long lost Trash Brats CD that had suddenly surfaced, but after a bit more digging I realised that Kevin K was one of the driving forces behind Road Vultures whose "Rip It Up" CD I bought back in 1993.

To be honest, this CD could easily have been the follow up, as the style and sound hasn't changed much over the past 13 years, this is reinforced by the fact that track 2 'Call', which also appeared on the Road Vultures CD. But in my book this is no bad thing, I'm a sucker for Kevin's brand of sleazy/bubblegum rock.

The 13 tracks on offer here don't wander too far from this general style. Even a cover of Iggy Pops 'Death Trip' has been stripped of the venom present in the original and been turned into a far more melodic beast (even if it has retained Kevin's attempt at Iggy's screams). I'm not convinced that Kevin is capable of completely letting rip, though the closest he comes song wise is on 'Life in a Ditch' and the aforementioned 'Death Trip'. Everything sounds very restrained and he seems to be more focussed on being in tune than just letting go and belting out the songs, but that's no bad thing.

Track 13 isn't mentioned on the CD cover and this is the one track that doesn't follow the trend being a Sex with Lurch style tongue in cheek psychobilly number.

I can't see Kevin ever headlining huge stadiums anywhere but this is a definite good time CD. He probably spends far too much time playing to half full rooms of people who probably treat him as background music, but he's been churning this stuff out for over 10 years so there's a market for it somewhere! It's guaranteed to get your feet tapping and put a smile on your face, a perfect late evening listening when you want to wind down but avoid total bland out. If you've never heard anything by him before, this is a great place to start. I'm kind of glad that he's still going and I've been prompted to go track out some more of his back catalogue.

by Phil T.

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