Roswell Kings - No Cure for Trying

2006-03-29 21:34
A South African threesome whose sincerity is clear, Kings' strengths are their economic songwriting, and their many efforts to innovate and explore other musical genres. After opening with the catchy hard rock ballad "Point Counterpoint", they evoque the mystique of desire, mixed with nostalgia, on "Seabreeze Drive-in (Love song no.4)". And when you're about to box them as just another bunch of hard rockers with metal melodies and a crush on Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam, they throw rap verses into track five, "Soul Flow" - which introduces some welcome variation.

Unfortunately, metal and grunge cliches do dominate many of the songs. But fortunately, the band seek out new ways of presenting the furious passion that makes nice boys play loud music and scream into the mic. "Point of impact" trades attention-seeking noise for real slow rock tension before collapsing into the chorus. Towards the end, it returns promisingly to its quietly menacing, plucked guitar riff.

But a quick listen to acoustic versions of some songs, reveals the extent to which melodic and lyrical subtlety is still being drowned by growling, screaming, mashing and other monotonous angry young man-pleasing cacophony. The choice of style and hard production traps them in a genre, and backwashes the meaning out of good tracks. That's not to say there's anything wrong with loud music, just that the Kings might just be the kind of band that could reach wider than one very small music scene by taking a fresh look at their sound.

For those who liked the sound of other hardish rock bands but found their childish suburban concerns boring, "No Cure for Trying" is definitely the ticket. It's ideal for annoying the family stuck next to you in traffic.

- Download or Listen to the acoustic version of "Johnny Stereo and the Underdogs"
- Listen to the clips from the CD to judge for yourselves (click them in the clips box)
... and catch them live for a banging jol when they're next in town.

- Jean Barker

The Roswell Kings' emotionally charged, smooth but hard sound is carefully crafted in this studio album. Circular patterned melodies and thoughtful lyrics stand out from the solid backing of electric guitar and drums and in the mix, so clearly that your Grandmother would certainly be able to hear the words.

Monnica 2005/04/09 9:24 PM
No cure for trying This is one album that I recommend highly. These guys have a great feel for "something that moves you". There is a sincerity about their lyrics and a togetherness which is tight and good. Absolutely!!!!
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