Nowadays, I hear plenty of so-called 'music listeners' make this bullshit claim about 'how rock and roll is dead' or how its fallen extinct since its golden heyday during the 1970s. Well, I refuse to support this half-assed point view instituted by a music industry too fickle to promote the modern wave of gritty rock bands carrying the torch far away from the eyes of the mainstream. Since its inception, the term 'rock and roll' stood for lashing out rebellious emotions in ways that resonated for generations.
Just a few days ago, I took a walk from Baeble HQ down to Webster Hall to cover a concert featuring a power-trio called Kyng at The Marlin Room. In recent years, the concept of the holy trio reminiscent of Cream, Rush, Motorhead, and Nirvana has fallen dangerously low in population scale, however, Kyng embodies the spirit of three musicians playing at a sonic level outweighing the number of people on stage. Combining the rhythmic feel of Black Sabbath with the punk aesthetic of Soundgarden, Kyng's latest LP Burn The Serum
showcases an upcoming hard rock band pushing its sound into explosive territories of melody and ferocity. Yet, if I only began my review with the highlight's of Kyng's set than I would severely rip off the reader.
In fact, I'm going to shamefully admit that I never listened to the co-headliners Crobot beforehand. If you're reading this article, drop whatever it is that you're doing and search for this band right now! Over the years, my quench for live music helped me discover some spectacular low key bands, yet this group pretty much restored my faith in the future of music. Crobot embodies the old school mentality of leaving every ounce of energy on the stage in order to mesmerize the audience. Stirring together the finest riff rattling chord progressions of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith with the rhythmic funk of Stevie Wonder and 90s heaviness of Rage Against The Machine, Crobot performed in front of a small New York City crowd as if they were Queen headlining Wembley Stadium. On stage, the band's passionate delivery flooded onto the audience leaving many with gleaming eyes in awe of what they just witnessed. Dressed in vintage attire such as vests and bell bottoms, Crobot's ability to merge the bombastic thrills of past and present rock music demonstrated something euphoric and transcendent that is desperately lacking in music nowadays. Trusting in the laws of attraction, I'm confident this band's dedication to their craft will eventually lead them to the promised land of a massive fanbase.
Concluding the night, Kyng's setlist just spilled into a breathtaking combination where vocalist Eddie Veliz's high-pitched vocal range and expressive guitar solos bounced off the acoustics of Webster Hall. Even as the rumbling bass drops of a dubstep show upstairs shook the ceiling, the human element of Kyng's instruments rattled the entire infrastructure of the club. While most hard rock bands tend to take themselves too seriously on stage, Kyng's sense humor made for a highly entertaining setlist that even included a flawless cover of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher." In the background, bassist Tony Castaneda and drummer Pepe Clarke Magana demonstrated a longstanding chemistry where both musician's rhythmic precision shifted the tempos flawlessly. Towards the end of the concert, the encore featured a guest appearance from Liquid Metal's Jose Mangin who fronted the band as they covered Pantera's epic classic "Revolution Is My Name." Before the song began, Mangin poured his heart into a passionate speech that demonstrated his support for Kyng's music. Maximizing every inch of the stage, the entire performance never steered away from anything short of a high-octane.
Even if the room topped off at 70 people, mainstream notables such as That Metal Show's Jim Florentine and Nuclear Blast A&R legend Monte Conner were in attendance. For every band that ever treated a small show as if it were less important, let this concert stand as a reminder for why every performance counts when playing in front of new audiences. Even with the openers Band of Julez and Anti-Mortem, the reckless angst both acts commanded an older audience to respect its youthful presence. The night itself represented something magical where a lucky bunch in the crowd felt something transcendent occur before their eyes. As I stated earlier, this night stood as one of those moments that fought back against a bunch of nayersayers that proves rock and roll is far from dead.