Saturday 1 October 2016


Kingsnake, Bill Jenkins- vocals / guitar, Brian Merritt- lead guitar , Matt Kahn- bass, and Matt Farnan- drums, have been doing their "thang" since their formation in 2006, and for those unfamiliar with the bands previous work, their "thang" is a mix of old school 70's hard rock and 90's stoner sprinkled with a healthy dose of down home blues all of which can be heard on the band's latest album "Resonance".

Let's make no bones about this "Resonance" is first and foremost a blues rock album with every one of the albums nine tracks soaked in various shades of that particular melancholy hue. So what do Kingsnake bring to the table that sets them apart from the myriad of other bands ploughing a similar furrow? Swagger is the answer, songs like "Diary Of A Bad Man", "Preacher Of Prophecy" and "Miss Sorceress" strut with Clutch-like arrogance with Bill Jenkins big voice roaring like a mad eyed lay-preacher over a back drop  of heavily fuzzed riffage and intense rhythmic bluster. Clutch comparisons are hard to avoid when listening to "Resonance" and Kingsnake, themselves readily acknowledge this influence, both bands employ choppy, stuttering guitar riffs backed by solid bluesy backbeats fronted by big distinctive vocals but where Kingsnake differ from their Germantown, MD counterparts is in the way their groove leans heavier towards the late 60's early 70's electric blues grooves of Cream and early Led Zeppelin. These leanings are never more evident than when the band bring the groove down a notch or two ,as on the swinging " Skeletons", which sees Merritt's tasteful guitar licks dipping in and out of the groove like little curls of  wispy smoke escaping from a smouldering campfire before catching aflame, or on the heavy hard rock bluster of final track "Phoenix" where the band mix elements of Cream and Mountain's classic blues rock attack with those Clutch -like grooves mentioned earlier.
It would be too easy to write Kingsnake off as just a bunch of Clutch sound-a-likes trying to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, that would be doing these Philly bluesters a disservice. It cannot be denied that there are similarities between the two bands but there are also marked differences and in this "underground" scene dominated by Sabbath worship a band influenced by Neil Fallon and Co is not a bad thing.
Check 'em out .......

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