There is a lot of talk about the resurgence of rock n’ roll these days. The last few years have seen several groups emerge whose musical tastes and conversely their art are planted firmly in the root system of the tree of rock. The Struts are putting the glam of Queen and Bowie back into the mix. Dirty Honey are currently raising eyebrows by resurrecting the guitar laden sound of the 1970’s. The quartet credited with starting the trend of revival, Greta Van Fleet, played their very first Los Angeles show at the Viper Room in the summer of 2017. A bunch of seasoned veterans now share that distinction with the boys from Michigan as Electric Radio Kings played their first ever Los Angeles show at The Viper Room on Saturday, February 8th.
Electric Radio Kings, a Las Vegas based quintet who incorporate elements of classic rock, grunge and 80’s arena rock left Sin City to promote their full length debut record on Debauchery Lane, otherwise know as Sunset Boulevard. 2019’s Purr, is a nine tune collection of original material with one notable exception, a cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black. The Kings ramrod through a twelve song set that somehow fit into a one-hour time frame. Combo founder Stacey Blades, most known for his eight-year tenure in L.A. Guns plays guitar and provides backing vocals. David Harris shares guitar duty with Blades and their contrasting styles blend into one full six-string sound that combines crunchy riffs with subdued screaming.
As the numbers progress, the back beat is driven hard by Johnny Rude, a guy whose name is as menacing as his playing. Looking like a beatnik from the late 1960’s he pummels his drums with a conflicting finesse that drives the plot. Joining Rude on the lower end of the audible spectrum is bassist Carl Raether, he and Blades have numerous bouts of interplay of playing side by side as if feeding off of each other’s energy. The last piece of this sonic puzzle is vocalist Peter Summit. Summit, who did not perform on the record, makes the lyrics his own. Summit is a charismatic front man, who slings his throaty vocals at the room with an emphatic carnal presence resembling that of Scott Weiland. Summit connects with the people in the room by leaning down to get closer to them and projecting his utterances directly between the eyes of the excited onlookers.
The hour-long production is accentuated by a few tunes from the debut album. Starting with Round Go Mary, a standard rocker with a melodic hook. Downshifter is a driving 90’s style piece that elicits memories of early Stone Temple Pilots with its chorus structure. The Kings finish off the evening with Jack Black Flower and its deep toned riff and punching vocals from Summit. The finale, Sympathy For Me is a mid-tempo uplifting ditty that leaves the small but enthusiastic crowd on a high note. Although in their short tenure, they have had a few member changes, they appear to have a solid lineup for their live shows. Keep an eye and an ear out for future shows. If you like music from what may have looked like a bygone era, Electric Radio Kings provide a portal to the past.
CLICK HERE to view more pics from the show.