RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

King Kobra – King Kobra II
Frontiers Records


Rating: B+

King Kobra is the hard rocking child of drummer extraordinaire Carmine Appice.  While Carmine is famous for playing with bands as diverse as Cactus, Vanilla Fudge, Beck, Bogart, Appice, Ozzy Osbourne and Ted Nugent, among others, King Kobra is where he turns to get his hard rocking, heavy metal freak on.

The band released a couple of hard rock albums back in the day, in Ready To Strike and Thrill Of A Lifetime yet the two albums they have released on Frontiers Records, 2011’s King Kobra and this one, show a band rocking harder and more concise than ever before. 

This one has that rock and roll swagger that is missing this day and age.  “Have a Good Time” sums up the attitude of the band while “Hell on Wheels” rocks from start to finish as hard rock veteran vocalist Paul Shortino drips of rock and roll soul. 

The good news about King Kobra II is that the band are staying to true to their roots.  They are not just rehashing their old licks in fact II is more akin to hard rock bands of the 1970’s than the big haired ‘80’s. 

Shortino’s vocals shine throughout while guitarists David Michael-Phillips and Mick Sweda are impressive in a meat and potatoes sorta way.  Bassist Johnny Rod brings the attitude on both the four-string and the tune “The Ballad of Johnny Rod,” which, if released in 1987 would have been a smash hit.

Of course, we have to mention Carmine Appice, as he is pretty much responsible for King Kobra being given a second chance at life.  Where many would rest on their laurels and make a buck on their past name and successes, Carmine continues to rock out and bash hard rocking bluesy tunes that remind us why good rock and roll will never die.  It is refreshing and thrilling to hear this kind of music being played in such a fresh manner. 

Is this one worth owning? As they would have said in the old days, ‘fer sure, fer sure.’

Rock on KK!

Tracklisting: Hell On Wheels; Knock ‘Em Dead; Have A Good Time; The Ballad Of Johnny Rod; Take Me Back; When The Hammer Comes Down; Running Wild; The Crunch; Got It Comin’; Deep River; Don’t Keep Me Waiting; We Go Round.

Paul Shortino - vocals
David Michael-Philips - Guitar
Mick Sweda - Guitar
Johnny Rod - Bass Guitar
Carmine Appice – drums