Kings & Comrades – Hypnotized EP
3.) Good Life
4.) Day and Night
5.) Dig Deeper
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: February 7th, 2012
Official Website: Kings & Comrade’s Myspace
Originally formed in 2006 as two-piece acoustic outfit consisting of singer/ songwriter Jeff McCaughey and drummer/percussionist Steve Morris, the band has grown and evolved a lot since their early days. The Kings and Comrades added members on bass, guitar, and percussion and began recording demos and playing shows. Kings and Comrades have played many venues in the Philadelphia area including World Cafe Live, and headlining The Trocadero Mainstage. After a hiatus that has seen members move on and pursue new avenues, the band reformed in the summer of 2010 with Dennis Stolle on Bass and Brandon Paster filling out the sound on Keyboards, along with Danny Serrano on drums and released their first EP On The Rise in 2010.
Since Kings & Comrades’ return to the scene, they have played with artists such as Tribal Seeds, Josh Heinrichs, Three Legged Fox, Mike Pinto, and EN Young. In February they released their second EP titled Hypnotized. Kings and Comrades are also planning their tour schedule for 2012, which is said to consist of numerous local shows as well as some nationwide performances.
The release of the Hypnotized EP has sent a jolt through the reggae scene in early 2012. The rhythmically driven collage charted at #10 on the ITunes reggae charts in its first week. The Kings & Comrades’ second EP is engrossed with an overall message of love and positivity, only to be harmoniously paired with a bubbly skankin rhythm, intricate licks on the guitar, and plenty of percussion to energize each song.
Kings and Comrades musicianship rubs off to be perfect live-music material. All but one track on the Hypnotized EP has a heavy kick-snare rhythm, setting the tone for a head-bobbing, knee-dipping experience. The exception is Day And Night, a mellow and affectionate song that sluggishly unfolds and lacks the snare drum which rhythmically controls the rest the EP.
Dig Deeper strays away from the vices of love into an inward focus on your own mind and subconscious; “You got to dig Deeper to see what you may find”, hinting that we need to be more in touch with our own values and subconscious.
In the title track Hypnotized, Jeff McCaughey voice matches the easygoing vibes. His voice effortlessly matches the mindset and message throughout the EP. McCaughey flawlessness on the mic is accompanied by resounding acoustic and electric guitar work. Echoic riffs enrich each progression and measure, while solos connect the gaps in songs such as Day And Night and Hypnotized.
The bongos are always a great inclusion in a reggae album, they help develop the percussion section and append more rhythm to the melodies. Also included is straight-forward piano in some songs . The intricate jump-start to the song Dig Deeper drew me into the song, while at other points has a complementary role in melodic composition.
Overall, Kings and Comrades put forward a solid sophomore EP. A few of the songs may run together due to their rhythmic and lyrical similarities, but the musical structure and positivity embedded within wins me over.
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi
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