Hell City Kings, “Devil’s Law”/“Surfin’ On The A”

Hell City Kings,

Sometimes, simple works best. That’s what I’m liking the most about the new 7-inch from Houston outfit the Hell City Kings; there’re no gimmicks, no hyphenated genres, no quasi-ironic synths, nothing but plain old, straight-ahead rock. Sure, there are definite punk and metal and garage-rock influences floating around in there, but at the end of the day, they don’t matter that much. All that does are the noisy-yet-not-metal guitars, full-tilt-boogie drums, and punch-you-in-the-neck fury.

Frankly, this is exactly what the Kings do best, and A-side “Devil’s Law” has quickly jumped up to the top of the pile of songs I’ve heard from the band. The driving, snarling rawness makes me think awesomely of Rocket From The Crypt’s classic Scream, Dracula, Scream!, particularly in the chorus, and the added blast of retro-ish, space-invader-y phased guitar is a nice touch, too. It’s like a breakneck roar down an empty freeway, headed straight into the sun and never looking back.

B-side “Surfin’ On The A” is more straight-up garage-punk than anything else, like guitarist Bill Fool’s “other” band, Born Liars, if they were infused with a hint of SoCal party-punk rowdiness. It feels like the song title’s got to be a euphemism for something, but I’ll be fucked if I know what it is. But hey, who cares? I’m liking it nonetheless, especially the “ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” backing vocals (which, yeah, remind me again of RFTC, which is no bad thing).

Hail to the Kings; long may they reign.

[Hell City Kings are playing their 7” release party 11/21/12 at Rudyard’s, along with The Wrong Ones & ASS.]
(Little T and A Records -- http://www.facebook.com/LittleTandARecords; Hell City Kings -- http://www.facebook.com/Hellcitykings; Hell City Kings (Myspace) -- http://www.myspace.com/hellcitykings)

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, November 21st, 2012. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “Hell City Kings, “Devil’s Law”/“Surfin’ On The A””

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Mondo Generator + Hell City Kings + Nosaprise + Thurogood Wordsmith + Ecocide + More on December 23rd, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    […] At any rate, it’s raw, over-the-top, desperate-sounding rock that makes me think of a noodlier Mudhoney more than anything else, and hey, I’ve got no problems with that. Plus, the band’s playing with awesome, awesome local dudes the Hell City Kings, who do a great, similarly raw kind of rock that draws from punk and metal and garage but remains beholden to none of the above. Check out our review of the band’s most recent 7″ over here. […]

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