2013 has been a good year for hard rock and metal. New releases from the likes of Holy Grail, Black Sabbath, and Sevendust have made this a great year for the metal masses the world over. Now with the release of its debut full length LP via Pavement Entertainment, Wichita, Kansas based KingShifter has just made the hard rock landscape that much more interesting.
KingShifter’s debut full length release, 26 Tons is an aptly titled record. This eleven-track record is a heavy-hitting wrecking ball of hard rock. From start to finish the album’s energy lets up only once. That one time is in the near minute and a half acoustic piece, ‘.00125 lbs. (The Year of the Rat). Other than that single moment, every other song on this record makes it one of the best debut records from a rock band (either mainstream or indie) in a very long time. Its combination of hard hitting guitar licks, drums, and equally scathing lyrics make it a record that any purist metal head will appreciate. And it all starts early on in the form of, ‘Revolution Generation.’ Front man Sprout sings about what’s happening to the country today. From the epidemic of companies and doctors working together to sell their drugs, to the issue of school violence, Sprout runs the gamut. Along the way he and his band mates wave a defiant musical flag declaring, “If we don’t do anything now/We’re soon to be doomed/We’ve got to stand strong/We shall not be moved/We are Americans/And we have proof/That we survived/The taxes, fiscal cliffs, and all of the wars/We’re here to tell you now/We won’t take it anymore!” The song’s declaration of pride and self-empowerment is a call to arms and an anthem for a whole new generation. And given the right support, could very well be the opening salvo in what breaks this band into the mainstream.
If ‘Revolution Generation’ isn’t enough example of what makes this a solid debut from KingShifter, then perhaps the equally hard rocking and defiant (yet far shorter) ‘STFU (& Die Already)’ will. This punk styled piece comes in at just under two minutes long. In that short time, this song hits just as hard as ‘Revolution Generation’ and any of the album’s other songs. It is an intense song that goes after the news media—Sprout sings, “Television/I wanna burn it down”—and all of the negativity that clots television today. In connection, he notes in no uncertain terms the effect that television has on people and his displeasure on the matter.
KingShifter’s debut record has plenty of social commentary and hard rock. For all the commentary that it offers, there is some lighter material on this record, too. Case in point, ‘Downin’ Booze – Raisin’ Hell.’ This song is a party song. It’s an anthem for the blue collar workers across the country. The influence from hard rock supergroup HellYeah is quite obvious both lyrically and musically in this song. This is clear in the song’s second verse as Sprout sings, “I’ve been inside/Of this dirty cage/Locked inside for five whole days/I’ve gotta ease my mind/And leave that bulls*** behind/This ******’s gonna go on a rage!” With such high energy lyrics and equally high energy music, this song is more than certain to become just one of so many fan favorites and fan anthems both on KingShifter’s record and at its live shows.
The songs noted here are just a few examples of what listeners can expect from Kingshifter’s upcoming debut record. There is much more that audiences will appreciate throughout the album. So much more could be written of 26 Tons. But to do so would require more time and space than is available. Simply put, given the chance by radio programmers and by Pavement Entertainment, 26 Tons could make Kingshifter one of the next big names in hard rock. The album will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 3rd. Fans can hear just some of the band’s music now online at the band’s official Reverb Nation page, http://www.reverbnation.com/kingshifter. There’s even a music video from the band on its page, too. Audiences can also check out the band’s music on its official MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/kingshifter. And to keep up with all of the latest news from the band, fans can follow the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KingShifterRock and on its official website, http://www.kingshifter.com.
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