The Kingcrows (UK): Corvus Maximus review

\"CorvusWith a determination to do things their own way, The Kingcrows describe themselves as “Leeds’ scuzziest sleaze-punk-n-roll maniacs” – which sounds like quite a claim to make! Formed in 2005, The Kingcrows have already shared the stage with the likes of Spear Of Destiny, UK Subs, Tokyo Dragons and Anti Nowhere League, as well as making appearances at the Nice N Sleazy festival in Morecambe on several years. With a desire to “spread their insanity further and bring their manic, fun rock’n’roll show to as many people as possible”, their latest offering, Corvus Maximus, showcases recordings from 2009 to 2011, and aims to further hook people into their punk sound, and with influences ranging from Motorhead through to Hanoi Rocks through to AC/DC, this promises to be one hell of a ride. What’s always interesting on a collection such as Corvus Maximus is that you can hear the development of the band from start to finish, and as Hanging Around launches us into the punk rock frenzy that is The Kingcrows, it’s almost as if we’re hearing a band who are just setting out on the journey into music. Fast paced guitars work with hammering drums and urgent vocals to form a sound that’s unmistakeably punk and raw, hooking you in from the word go. Originally from their 2009 album A Murder Most Foul we’re led through the opening moments into Stiletto Groove and on through What She Does To You and Sex, Oui, all the time being led by the punk fuelled melee on hand. It’s when Revolution Street arrives that the first high point of the album is achieved, offering up a hook fuelled punk track that packs a punch and satisfies that raw craving deep inside, setting the bar high for the rest of the album for sure. Moving onto Magdelene (from their 2010 album of the same name) the development begins to shine through, demonstrating the journey the band have gone through and showing how they’ve developed as a band, and their sound. With In For The Kill offering up the second serious high point, once again the guitar takes over and we’re propelled into a track that’s sure to get you moving, shifting, and reaching for a beer to accompany the sound – it’s proper punk’n’roll music done damned well indeed. Reaching the final album tracks (from their 2011 album, Up Before The Beak) we’re treated to a further 7 tracks, from Who Are The Madmen through to Party and on to Don’t You Know. The third serious high point comes about in the form of Renegades though, showing further development in their sound and ushering in a fast paced and hammering offering that’s surely built for the live scene. Closing after a whopping 18 tracks it’s impossible not to be impressed by an album that doesn’t just record the history of a band in album form, but musically demonstrates how The Kingcrows developed throughout the two years being charted. All too often the term ‘punk’ is banded about and over used, not necessarily reflecting the music being played but instead, simply being the best fit category for a band who aren’t quite sure what they’re doing. With The Kingcrows that’s not the case, and throughout Corvus Maximus we’re shown a band who live, breath and love what they do – and the result is something pretty special indeed. Rating: 8.5/10 Words: Dave Nicholls