Take a trip back in time with me, for a minute, to 1988, and I was perusing our local record store. Remember that there was no Internet back then. We spent hours combing record stores back then. I happened upon an Australian band called Kings of the Sun. Their first album was electric! It was like you took AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and Lynyrd Skynyrd and threw them in a blender on frappe. It was a nice break from the glam shit that was soon to end. I love straightforward, ballsy, bluesy rock and roll played from the gut. I always have and I always will. When their second album, Full Frontal Attack, came out, it was even more impressive! Chock full of killer hooks and songs, I actually wore the cassette tape out. I lost touch with them after that, as my musical interests dove into more underground thrash, death, and black metal.
Fast forward to current day, and original drummer Clifford Hoad has now resurrected the Kings of the Sun moniker and released one hell of a catchy album with Rock Til Ya Die. I honestly had no idea what to expect here, but I am very pleasantly surprised at how well it’s produced, and this style of music never goes out of style.
“Fire On The Mountain” opens up the album with a riff-heavy feast for the ears. The mix is clean and nothing is buried. Clifford not only plays drums here, but he sings all of the lead vocals. I was very curious as to how this would sound since his brother Jeff sang on the albums I was familiar with, but Clifford doesn’t miss a note. He has the same type of tone for which they are known. “Rock Pile” delivers some cool guitar licks and is probably the heaviest song here. It’s delves deep into bluesy territory. It’s catchy, yet simple. “Switchblade Knife” definitely brings back the old feel. “Rock Town” follows a similar suit, but it really brings out the blues lineage of the band. “Geronimo” is more of a ballad, paying tribute to one of Hoad’s heroes from America. “Reach For The Bottle (Mescal 109)” is a booze-laden, blues-soaked homage to alcohol. This song reminds me of George Thorogood, and it is one of my favorites here. The title track is a melodic, catchy and upbeat song. If you can’t sing along to this one, get your blood pressure checked. “Tighten Your Grip” is an acoustic, folky ballad, but it works well.
Rock Til Ya Die is an all out party. It’s fun, and the songwriting and musicianship is a feast for the ears. If you enjoy AC/DC, you will most certainly enjoy Kings of the Sun. I have listened to this album repeatedly now for a few weeks and cannot get enough of it!
Rock Til Ya Die is self-released and out now. Buy it here!