Kickin Valentina, Imaginary Creatures, Mighty Music
Scorchin’ second album from Atlanta based self confessed ‘loud unapologetic rock n roll.’ Named after a fetish artist who liked to kick men in the balls there’s nothing subtle about what this band do. Prepare to feel assaulted in the ears, at least, in the best possible way. However, these guys know what they are doing, already award winning and with diverse influences from punk, sleaze, eighties, sixties and seventies rock and fifties stuff like when Elvis was raw, they’re rough and ready but they know what makes a tune.
‘Turns Me On’ is a Guns n Roses crossed with Faster Pussycat influenced classic in the making like a sucker punch to the jaw. However my favourite on the album is ‘Crazy’ which is a slower southern style track with a whisky laden vocal betraying a mature songwriting style that could be born from old souls with a lifetime of hard real life experience in Nashville now that it’s a rock n roll as much as a country town. ‘Heartbreak’ is another track that’ll make you think the band has had nine lives of sorrow such is the level of feeling. ‘Imaginary Creature’ is a bit of a metal anthem with some Teutonic influences and a memorable title track.
‘Devil’s hand’ has a Slash style guitar break to be admired and blistering solos abound across the album. Wherever guitar master Heber Pampillon has been hiding he’s been practicing and I was not surprised to hear he had studied classical guitar and teaches too. However, there is nothing pretentious about these guys. ‘She’s Street and I’m Trailer’ illustrates that these guys are never gonna forget their roots (which run river deep and mountain high). Finally, they have a very hands on approach with fans on social media and understand the metal tribe vibe of quality old Skool bands like AC/DC.
One of the best albums I’ve heard for a while. Their debut album was a solid effort, but this new album is much, much better. If you wish you had been there when ‘Appetite for Destruction’ came out don’t miss the boat (or should it be night train) with Kickin Valentina.
In relation to this album it is necessary to cover a little history first. This is not Jack Russell’s Great White. This album is the second one from the line up that brought you ‘Elation’ with original Great White members Mark Kendall (Guitars), Michael Lardie (guitars and keyboards) and Audie Desbrow (drums) and the reason that’s important to know is that the Jack Russell line up delivered a very diverse album that may be challenging for fans of old Skool Great White earlier this year and it may be important for some not to confuse the two. ‘Full Circle’ using original producer Michael Wagener is much more likely to be to the taste of those traditional fans. It’s likely that the title ‘Full Circle’ is meant to signal that return to roots which may be music to the ears of most fans.
‘I’m Alright’ is an optimistic start and it’s a lighthearted rocker explaining how so much money has been spent on lovely ladies, but the band don’t care at all cos they had such a good time and if it’s one thing people associate with Great White it’s the party spirit. ‘Movin on’ indicates, however, that the band has changed somewhat and while the music is still classic rock it is undoubtedly more mature in themes and execution and a little more chilled and the band are clearly ok with that. In fact, they’re still having a ball albeit in a more considered way as ‘This is the Life’ indicates. That track reminded me of recent albums from Europe the Swedish band so you get the picture a strong melodic hard rock song with great guitar and vocals, what’s not to like! ‘Let me In’ is more of a ballad and easy on the ear. ‘Moonshine’ was not my favourite track on the album as the chorus seemed a little one dimensional to me, but I’ve seen great reviews of that track so some people clearly love it and it’s fair to say it doesn’t sound like anything else. ‘Cry of a Nation’ is a beautiful slow song with lot of feelin and a lifetime of musicianship and skill harnessed to create something laid back with a powerful message in the tradition of Bob Marley and, although this is definitely rock and not reggae, it may cause people to break out the smokes. “Give it Up’ and ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ continue the chilled theme, however with ‘Big Time’ and ‘Never Let You Down’ the tempo is rocked up again whilst keepin plenty of groove.
Hard copies of the CD will include a DVD “The Making of Full Circle’ which will no doubt contain some really interesting material showing the band at work with Michael Wagener at Wireworld in Nashville to create this worthwhile and super polished album. It may not be all hell raising and decadence anymore, but it is authentically Great White and you will recognise the band in the album. As reassuring as the re-appearance of the big fish on the cover, this band still has plenty of bite.
For more, go to www.officialgreatwhite.com.