Back in 1988, Kingdom Come came out of nowhere and nil hard with their debut. Fans, MTV, and radio loved it, but many critics hated it. The world was looking for the next Led Zeppelin and Kingdom Come was it. They, unabashedly, look Page's rhythms, Bonham's drum patterns, and Plant's vocal inflections and made them their own. The band and album soared lo incomprehensible heights in a very short period of time. However, as quickly as they ascended, they fell just as rapidly. Undeterred, Lenny Wolf persevered and over the years has released some excellent music, most especially his latest entitled "Outlier". Powerplay caught up with Lenny lo discuss his new release.
Of all the characters to emerge in the ongoing soap opera that is the hard rock world in the last three decades, few are more enigmatic or harder to pigeonhole than Lenny Wolf. His Robert Plant infused voice first hit international radar screens with Stone Fury in the mid 80s; their brief two album tenure - 'Burns Like A Star' in '84 and 'Let Them Talk' some two years later - as different as chalk and cheese. But it I was the creative, oft fractious love affair that began with the eponymous Kingdom Come debut in '88 that really focused media attention. Lambasted as Led Zeppelin rip off merchants (ironic when you consider the mighty Zep themselves openly plagiarised what had gone before as and when it suited), to these ears Kingdom Come have never really been granted a fair crack of the whip. Admittedly, when they started to move away from what was considered a 'mainstream' sound with 'Bad Image' in '93 they were never the easiest of bands to digest; but in true pioneering spirit, isn't that rather the point?
When I listen to Kingdom Come's latest release Magnified, I can't help but feel this is how Steelheart's last album should have sounded. Both CDs are far removed from the band's original days, but in the case of Kingdom Come vocalist Lenny Wolf hasn't changed a bit. His voice isn't hidden in distortion and overdubs, and even though the music itself has 'matured', at least fans can still relate to that voice. That simple fact makes all the difference in the world.
If you are expecting to hear "Get It On" or "Do You Like It" all over again you'll be disappointed. To call this a hard rock album would be expanding the definition of the genre. Magnified is what it is, a fairly mellow and somber offering, a collection of songs that likely wouldn't work fans into a frenzy at a live gig, but it may bring out some lighters.
Lenny Wolf strikes back with a new Kingdom Come album, this is more of a soloalbum from Lenny where he has done most of the work by himself with a little help from various unknown musicians. I really like Lenny's two albums with Stone Fury that I think is great AOR/MHR albums and the first 4 albums with Kingdom Come are good stuff. But after Bad Image (1993) I have lost my faith in K.C and the following albums has been pretty weak and boring, he has never managed to come up with enough strong songs in the same quality we saw on the first K.C albums. But on "Ain't Crying For The Moon" he has tried to supply strong melodies with hooks with an Ok result on a couple tracks, but out of the 13 tracks I feel that there are way too many fillers that passes by without notice.
Sure, if you dig the last album "Perpetual" - then you will have a nice time with this album, even if this is the heaviest album K.C has released.
It's funny how things comes back like cycles, many bands returns to their sound in the beginnings. And so do Lenny Wolf with his Kingdom Come, it's his 8th album under that name but for those who remember his works before that know about the 2 great Stone Fury albums he did with Bruce Gowdy (Unruly Child).
As a matter of fact so does this new album sound a bit like Stone fury at some moments and also the magnificent third K.C record "Hands of time" which is a bit progressive!
The first self titled and the 2nd "In your face" sounded just too much Led Zeppelin for me to enjoy and after "Hands of time" Lenny and Kingdom Come went beeing too normal hard rock and didn't satisfy me at all. Now he is on his own performing the whole record and I must say the result is quickening!