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KING CANNONS – The Brightest Light CD

| 10 September 2012 | Reply

EMI, 2012
By Shane Pinnegar

The shadow of Joe Strummer looms large over King Cannons’ debut album – Luke Yeoward’s vocal style and phrasing often reminds us of the Clash and Mescaleros frontman, an open-minded approach to instrumentation, a wonderful ability to tell a story that matters in three and a half minutes and more.

But I’m pleased to report that Yeoward and King Cannons are far from a mere clone of any one artist, no matter his obvious influence. Elsewhere on this excellent platter you can hear haunting hints of Bruce Springsteen’s finest works, the storytelling knack of Paul Kelly or Mick Thomas, and a sound that can only come from a thousand gigs in Aussie pubs.

See a trend yet? Singer songwriters who speak from the heart with sometimes brutal honesty, who surround themselves with similarly minded talented musicians to create works of art and poetry, observations on a society at odds with itself, holding up a mirror to the world.

The end result – “The Brightest Light” – is greater than the sum of all these parts – the album bristles with punk ATTITUDE, though shares little in common with the spitting or “Oi!” punks of yore.

From opener Stand Right Up – an infectiously danceable call to arms – through Charlie O’s ska reggae, protest songs such as Everyman’s Tale (“people still divided/ moulds left unbroken/ the blind lead the ones that don’t want to know”) and the heavy drama of anti-war number The Last Post, the pace never lets up, the production is vibrant (mostly courtesy of Shihad drummer Tom Larkin), the urgency is ever-present. Bonus track 131 Bop is perhaps the most “fun” track on the album, providing a little come down from the fervent proselytizing which preceeded it.

Category: CD Reviews

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