King Washington and Cleopatra Club

King Washington “No One”
Last years album Gears made my year end list, this time L.A. based King Washington moves decidedly away from the anthem rich rock for something a bit more contemplative. The title track proves the band still has the rock chops and solid harmonies, clear influences from Queen and Extreme are heard. The next few tracks are gentle ballads that favor skilled guitar pop, both “Land Without  Age” and the delicate “Nowhere’s Journey” falls somewhere between America and Led Zeppelin. “Terrible Affection” is a great love song with a solid melody and surging chorus, one of the best tunes here.

The albums middle sags slightly. The rock guitars even return on “Don’t Expect My Love,” but that and a song about a feline (“You’re A Cat”) feel like filler. Thankfully the acoustic “Legend of Red Mahogany” resonates, and the finale “The Cinemas” has a grand epic hymnal feel, and the band hits its sweet spot here. It sounds like a lost hit record from The Eagles or Hollies, and this album is sure a grower – so pick it up.

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The Cleopatra Club “self-titled” EP
The Cleopatra Club is a pop band out of Northern New Jersey, that leads with a funky beat and Jess Kenny’s playful vocals. The new single “Gypsy” is a catchy danceable pop hit. “Runaway Train” is another soul influenced pop song that recalls the early Jackson Five with its “ahh ohh” chorus. “Fortune Teller” is a gem lead more by guitarist Matt Morgantini’s smoking riffs and “If Only For The Night” has more overt disco tendencies. Anyone who liked The Orion Experience I reviewed last week is sure to enjoy this one.

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