The Kings of Jade – Ready or Not
EP Review of The Kings of Jade: Ready or Not
Rock. Hard rock. Melodic hard rock. The heyday of the Sunset Strip. The Kings of Jade recall an era when melodic hard rock ruled that stretch of Los Angeles real estate and dominated the American airwaves. Sure, it had been renamed “hair metal” by the end of its run, but this harkens back to a day – decade, actually – when it was all about the catchy, guitar-driven hard rock music, and musicianship was always more important than the genre’s accompanying flash and glitz.
Driven by the band members’ talent, The Kings of Jade are 1980s hard rock with a bit of a rougher edge. The band is reminiscent of bands like Babylon A.D., Dangerous Toys, and Hurricane, with a healthy dose of Shout at the Devil-era Motley Crue, Pornograffitti-era Extreme, Hurricane, and Trixter. Raucous, rattling, and rolling, No Pain No Gain is intricately fun to listen to and clearly suggests an amazing live show.
First track “Ready or Not” opens with a classic melodic metal echo chamber buzz before the guitar builds and drums and vocals come crashing in. It’s a great way to draw listeners in and hit them with exactly the brand of power rock The Kings of Jade specialize in.
“Danger” utilizes another classic melodic metal intro technique, starting with guitar, adding drums, then launching into the energetic number, which features a fan-shoutalong-worthy “Danger!” opening its chorus and well-placed key changes throughout to maintain the energy. It increases the energy level a notch from “Ready or Not,” charging straight ahead without pausing to take prisoners.
The third track, “No Pain No Gain,” mixes more nuanced hard rock guitarwork and vocal emotion but carries forward “Danger”‘s energy level. The energy level and lyrical content suggest this could be an ideal get-fired-up song for an athlete getting pumped up for a big game, a clubgoer preparing for a night out, or, really, anyone trying to get psyched up for another day of fighting life’s obstacles.
All of the tracks feature energetic solos that fit within the song while showing off some flashy axework. “Ready or Not” showcases a blues-influenced solo, while “Danger”‘s is more straight-ahead blistering. “No Pain No Gain” features a more finesse-driven solo.
Talent. Versatility within the melodic hard rock/metal framework. Though still relatively new to the Los Angeles scene, The Kings of Jade are the complete package. This should be no surprise, if only because of the band’s frequent Whisky gigs and the high caliber of acts with whom the band has performed. But it’s easily confirmed by a single listen to this Tonio Ruiz-produced 3-song EP, Ready or Not.
You can check out the tour dates section of The Kings of Jade’s website to keep up with the band’s upcoming dates. The band is opening for L.A. Guns on July 29th at Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. Watch for other dates. The Kings of Jade play regularly, so I suspect there will be other dates appearing on the band’s calendar soon.