Elixir is the debut release from Manchester retro types RITUAL KING. They don’t have any pretensions to being fearless boundary pushers, cross-pollinating previously unmixed genres, but they execute their chosen path well.
If you’re looking for contemporary reference points you won’t go too far wrong by thinking of the likes of THE ANSWER or RIVAL SONS, but the blueprint that RITUAL KING follow harks back to the early 1970s, when mighty beasts like THE FACES strode the earth.
Opening track Devil’s Chokehold rumbles into view with a jaunty, bouncing riff, with all the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a 12 week old puppy. Expect to hear it at a biker rally somewhere near you soon. There are a few more ingredients in the brew for track two ISD. There’s a brief acoustic tinkle at the start, an even briefer nod to SANTANA and somewhere around three quarters of the way through, there is a passing wave at the funk rock championed by EXTREME and THE RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS in the late 1980s/early 1990s. It’s the jolliest track on Elixir.
Detachment dons its battered, patch-covered denim jacket next and things get a little more down and dirty. Vocalist Jordan Leppitt fires out his lines with a little more venom than elsewhere on Elixir, but still finds time to put together an eminently singalongable harmony chorus. Best track on the EP. Too Fast is the little brother of Blind Man by BLACK STONE CHERRY, with a tad less rawk and a sprinkling of more blues.
The core of Unorthodox Satisfaction bounces like a kindergarten let loose on trampolines and also indicates there’s promise in future RITUAL KING enterprises. As with ISD, there are a few different influences discretely introduced into the mix, but the song is king and as with the rest of Elixir the finished product has a polished sheen over its grimey heart. RITUAL KING have released a debut full of promise.
Elixir is out now via self-release.
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