This eponymous four-tracker is the debut release from Concrete Kingdoms, a Scottish five-piece, who cite Guns n’ Roses, Alter Bridge, Audioslave, and Led Zeppelin amongst their influences.
For me, Audioslave always seemed to draw on the most indulgent, wankiest elements of Led Zepp at their most bloated and overblown, and this very much seems to be the main thrust of the Concrete Kingdoms sound. There’s nothing wrong with it, technically, but make no mistake, it’s cliché city.
‘Time to Play’ swaggers through a quintessentially classic riff and has an eye on the arena crowds with a big, big chorus and a slower-paced breakdown that precedes an epic guitar solo. Yes, it has a guitar solo. As do all of the songs. Big, legs-splayed, all over the fretboard, guitar solos.
The rest of the EP offers nothing new, with the last song the slower, deliberately anthemic ‘Hurricane’ finding the band whipping out the wah-wah and piano fade, while going all-out on the bombastic fretwank solo.
Proficient, but way, way too late.
Concrete Kingdoms - Die This Day from Jay Robertson on Vimeo.