It has been a long time between drinks, yet fans can now scull the debut album from King Cannons, The Brightest Light.

26-year-old frontman Luke Yeoward, along with his cohorts (a Melbourne-based Kiwi six-piece), has taken his punk rock past, put on his swagger hat and pulled some old school rock ‘n ‘ roll refrains into a successful album experience.

Change is comin’ I’ve been told” he sings on album opener “Stand Right Up”, reminding the listener to take charge and is such a great  introduction  lyric – filled with the good time feeling from traditional soul music – which will get you bumping and jiving. It has a righteous throaty tone of a soul group with an almost ragtime charm.

“Too Young” has an infectious rhythm–Yeoward successfully channels his Clash influence: Joe Strummer and mixes it with a little Springsteen spice.  The only criticism is it is a little repetitive, but overall a success. The title track, shifts down a gear, with a mellow, reflective sound which is driven by a heavier, harder chorus giving completeness to the overall structure.

Listening to “Shot To Kill” the opening bass licks gives you another insight into the versatility of these musicians and then “Ride Again” brings back The Boss influence.

Transitioning to the acoustic “Everyman’s Tale” is reminiscent of The Gadflys’ meaningful sound with a great mix of soulful tone which has a hint of a political anthem, inspiring the purchase of hemp pants to wear while making protest signs. The album closer “The Last Post” builds into a big brash chorus which leaves a satisfying after-taste for the album as a whole.

King Cannons pulls off a successful undertaking mixing old rock ‘n roll with a new sound and blending a little punk, reggae and soul to provide a solid debut album.

– Belynda Reid

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