King Kobra was founded in 1984 when an amazing idea came to the mind of drummer Carmine Appice. While drumming for Ozzy and having Motley Crue as the opening band, he decided if he were to ever start another band it would be the complete opposite of Crue. He wanted all blondes and one dark haired guy. He, of course, being the dark hair was the easy part. Appice hand-picked the entire lineup, but not only did he create the image he wanted, he chose a group that were extremely talented and were amazing with their instruments. The original members were Dave Henzerlin (a/k/a David Michael –Phillips), Mick Sweda, Carmine Appice, Mark Free and Johnny Rod.
King Kobra’s album list includes Ready to Strike (1985), Thrill of a Lifetime (1986), King Kobra III (1988), The Lost Years (1999), Hollywood Trash (2001), and Number One (2005) with a few vocal changes over the years. 2010 brought current lead vocalist, Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot) to the group. On a bus ride from a gig in Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, Appice was so impressed by his vocals that when the idea of reforming the band came up, Shortino was asked to join and said “yes” without hesitation. The self titled King Kobra album was released in 2011 in Europe, the U.S. and Japan, and was the first album to feature Shortino.
The long awaited new release of King Kobra II on July 5, 2013 was welcomed by fans around the world. Twelve tracks that will take you back to the memories of the 70’s and 80’s when rock featured monstrous drums, guitar riffs and solos that seemed to never end and vocals that make you want to join in. Each band member’s influences can be felt within each song. From blues to swing, melodic rock to heavy metal, each track offers something new and exciting. King Kobra II is striking hard with a poisonous vengeance, is a force to be reckoned with, and proves to be even better than its predecessor. Racing off is the massively fast and furious Hell on Wheels, followed by another speaker crusher with Knock ‘Em Dead. Feel good rock and roll reminiscent of party days gone by is definitely experienced with Have a Good Time. The Ballad of Johnny Rod is a interesting tune with some really cool production with the sound of scratchy vinyl being played as a bit of story begins, then kicks your ass with full on rock and roll. Slowing it down with Take Me Back and Don’t Keep Me Waiting definitely showcases Shortino’s vocal ability and style. The rest of the album offers so many different styles of rock from a hint of bluesy, boogie feel to a Southern ZZ Top twist, and a story to tell in each song. Truth has it; a snake can strike twice and King Kobra has done it with King Kobra II.
The track list includes: 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.
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