Rock, regardless of popular opinion (or declining streams), is absolutely NOT dead. Proof? Another volume of driving, modern rock and roll courtesy of Bongo Boy Records’ Kryp II Knight collection. Ready for 10 powerful tracks from up-and-coming rock artists? Then strap yourself in, press “play,” and prepare for a serious audio assault courtesy of Bongo Boy Records’ Kryp II Knight Vol. IV.
Track one, “Rock Steady” by Shawn Michael Perry, sets an immediate high-energy precedent with some solid guitar riffs. And when Perry moves into a higher register, especially to uplift the chorus, his voice reminds me of the incomparable Chris Cornell – it’s a rough, sandy voice that almost splits the throat during delivery. Great stuff, and an absolute stunning opener.
Vocally, “Love Me Do You” by Boys’N’Barry is sung through mild radio distortion. And I’m slightly reminded of Steve Miller, but with a more aggressive backing band. The bridge is very interesting with single note riffs (perhaps a bit Rush-esque?) leading to a guitar solo, and then the final chorus. With a mild punk feel, this track is so immediately catchy, I might prefer the word “contagious.”
Philip Cole’s “The Only One” immediately says, “we love the Cure (!)” with its leading, slightly delayed and melodic guitar. This one is a little more punk than “Love Me Do You,” but keeps a steady rock energy with backing, fuzzy guitars. This is a smiling and concise musical statement.
The NEW Bardots contribute “Thrill of the Night,” a song that isn’t afraid to grant the bass a starring role. This is a raw, scratchy track; a bit of blues, a salting of funk (thanks to that resonant bass), and a compelling chorus adding a touch of urgency. Good stuff.
“Why Can’t You Say” by Dale Mitchel and Corky Evans is an acoustic ditty driven by earthy, prevalent, “four on the floor” drumming. The singer sounds a little like Ray Wilson (from post-grunge outfit Stiltskin, and then, very briefly, Genesis). It ends with a great lead guitar passage and a rolling of drums. Very clean, very poignant.
What else can I say about “DEEP INSIDE” by OBLIVEA? In my last review, I called it “raw,” “candid,” and “unapologetic.” Well, I stand by those descriptors – “DEEP INSIDE” delivers exactly what rock and roll promises: The unvarnished and not at all glamorous truth. Check it out ASAP.
Another helping of The New Bardots, “In the Year 2525 (Extended Version)” starts with a testimonial over strumming chords. And after the vocalist counts out the first bar, the song kicks off with quick staccato guitar strikes. There are some nice key changes here, and the vocalist tells the tale with his raw, earnestly reaching voice. Another solid track from TNB.
“Onde Radio (Broadcast Version)” from ARTIC BABA, entirely in Spanish, is a strong, tightly executed song. The chorus mellows a bit between the quickly changing verses; it’s a bundle of voices over muted arpeggios, and something that offers a respite between the song’s high-energy passages. The chorus was immediately uplifting, and the adept musicality appreciated.
Philip Cole returns with “My Angel,” and at its foundation, a floating, granular guitar – which makes sense, considering the first verse mentions an ocean. The chorus brushes with something darker, and then returns to those fluid, foundational chords. There’s definitely an environment here – something vast and flowing. Perhaps it’s a love that’s wide, deep, and impossibly oceanic.
For the final track? A chugging heavy-metal assault entitled “Heavy Heart” by Fate Will Come. The vocals are high and stylishly wavering; the guitar, unrelenting. This is a hasty track that ends with an interesting echoing arpeggio. It’s definitely heavy, and perhaps leaves us a little too soon.
Rock is dead, huh? Not according to Bongo Boy Records and their impressive roster of rock and roll talent.
BELOW: Listen to Bongo Boy Records Kryp II Knight Volume IV and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Bongo Boy Records by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!