What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today ? CLIFFORD HOAD’S KINGS OF THE SUN – ROCK TIL YA DIE (2013)

When the news broke that Cliff Hoad was going to step out from behind the drum kit, pick up the mic and handle all lead vocals for Kings Of The Sun, there were those that greeted this announcement with a fair degree of caution. No mean feat stepping into the shoes of Jeff Hoad – the former flamboyant frontman who was rock star personified. Yet Cliff has managed to pull it off – leaving egg on the face of any doubters. ‘Rock Til You Die’ is the new CD from Clifford Hoad’s King Of The Sun’ and it is as good as anything in the KOTS back catalogue. Don’t make the mistake of pigeon holing Cliff with the one dimensional ‘just a drummer’ shtick either – for he is a multi-talented musician who sings the songs, write the songs, produces the songs – and still plays the drums like a man possessed. And the songs themselves ? Memorable slices of classic Aussie rock, in fact, one listen to ‘Rock Til Ya Die’ proves that in 2013, KOTS are still a rock n roll force to be reckoned with. Flying the loud n proud Aussie rock flag in the tradition of the Angels /Rose Tattoo etc, ’Rock Til Ya Die’ might just be candidate for best Aussie rock album of the year. Man, this album smokes!  First thing you notice is that Cliff has a GREAT rock voice – and makes me wonder why he only sung lead on one tune of previous KOTS albums. Yes, his voice is similar to his brother’s, but in my books that is only a good thing, for each song still retains that distinctive KOTS sound. Straight out of the gate, the album opens with a ball tearer, ‘Fire On The Mountain’. Talks about rock anthem. Big catchy chorus, crunching riff and hooks aplenty. ‘Rockpile’ is another great tune, memorable chorus and big riffing ala John Brewster / Malcolm Young. That’s the good stuff folks! ‘Switchblade Knife’ sees the momentum continued, with Cliff demonstrating his appealingly rich vocal range on this one, projecting his voice a bit further out on another hard rockin’ tune. Lots to like here. ‘Geronimo’ could be the song of the album though for mine. A song writer who can paint a lyrical picture in the listeners head is also a great story teller. Not all song writers have that skill. Ian Hunter has it spades, and as evidenced here, Cliff Hoad has it too. In fact ‘Geronimo’ would sit neatly on Hunter’s recent highly acclaimed album ‘When I’m President’. (which I reviewed here). High praise – but justly deserved. In fact, all eleven tunes on this album are blue ribbon quality, and I find it hard to highlight individual tunes when all are top shelf. In summary, ‘Rock Til Ya Die’ does not disappoint, and scores an emphatic 10 out of 10 from Cowboy Col. Kings Of The Sun are back – and with ‘Rock Til Ya Die’, show all and sundry that they mean business!  Crank it up ! Mucho recommended. Check it out here

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