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'White Bird/Burn The Sky'
(Listenable Records)
Release Date: Monday 15th June 2015

Johnny Main

johnny main

palace of the king

We're all aware that Joel O'Keefe, front man of Australian hard rock band Airbourne, knows a good tune when he hears it, so when he comes out and says that Palace of the King have "more hooks and lines than a hard working Bering Sea fishing fleet they are guaranteed to tangle you up, reel you in and blow you away", then you really ought to sit up and take notice, right?

Well, when the debut album from this Melbourne based six piece landed on my desk here at MetalTalk Towers, I just couldn't wait to give it a spin to see what all the fuss was about. Now, after several listens, I'm still not sure which genre the bands comfortably sit in, but then I realised that it doesn't really matter. If you're a fan of Rival Sons, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin or even, at a push, the White Stripes, then this is an album that you really need to hear.

'Take Your Medicine' is a straightforward guitar based track and it's an ideal opener for the album. Sure vocalist Tim Henwood's voice is pushed back into the mix a bit further than expected but all this does is to make drums and guitar the focus of the track. 'No Chance In Hell' ramps up the pace with drummer, Anthony Troiano, holding down a simple but solid (and you have to say, relentless) beat whilst Henwood puts in a fine vocal performance. It's an easy to remember track with the title being repeated time and again but that's never a bad thing, is it?

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Likewise, 'Leave Me Behind' continues the upbeat pace with the addition of what sounds like a saxophone, though I'm not one hundred percent whether this is actually real or just a keyboard sample. Still, it's another upbeat number with its catchy lyrical hook which will have you singing along after only a couple of listens.

'Devils Daughter' is one of my favourite tracks with Troiano again holding down a good solid drum beat whilst Henwood puts in one of his best performances. There's an extended instrumental mid-section with a simple drum beat carrying the song before the guitar riff comes back in along with a touch of keyboards in the background before the vocals start to seep back in as the song reaches its finale - great stuff.

palace of the king

'Another Thing Coming' is where the keyboards of Sean Johnston really come to the fore. I'm pretty sure that this track wouldn't look out of place on a Deep Purple album. Driving the song from start to finish, it's a nice change to hear the keyboards at the front as opposed to being nestled away in the background. Henwood adds to the Purple feel of the track with his somewhat Gillan-esque performance that just shows how good his voice really is.

'Ain't Got Nobody To Blame But Myself' is a slower paced track that sounds like our wouldn't look out of place on an early Purple or even, a Sabbath album. Again, it's the repetitive lyrical hook that drives itself into your subconscious and I found myself with the chorus running round in the back of my head several times after my initial listen.

The final track, 'If It Ain't Broke', sums up this band for me – the band have quite a varied album here and all of it is incredibly well recorded and produced, so let's hope they don't radically change what they're doing too much, and continue to do things as they are because this band has the potential to become a very solid and dependable recording act for some years to come.

You can see the official video for 'Another Thing Coming' here:

You can see Palace of the King live here:
Saturday 13th June – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Friday 19th June – Crown And Anchor Hotel, Adelaide
Saturday 4th July – Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Sunday 12th July – Frankie's Pizza by the Slice, Sydney
Friday 31st July – Prince Public Bar, Saint Kilda

White Bird/Burn The Sky'Tracklist:
Take Your Medicine
No Chance In Hell
Another Thing Coming
Burn My Bridges
White Bird (Bring Your Armies Against Me)
Ain't Got Nobody To Blame But Myself
Leave Me Behind
Devil's Daughter
Get Back Up (Burn The Sky)
If It Ain't Broke

Palace of the King are:
Tim Henwood – Vocals
Leigh Maden – Guitars
Matthew Harrison – Guitars
Andrew Gilpin – Bass Guitar
Sean Johnston – Keyboards
Anthony Troiano – Drums

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