King Kartel

This week Manchester-based King Kartel unleash their explosive new EP upon us, and we at RR have the utmost pleasure in reviewing it. If “Part of The Plan” is just a statement, then it is one of intent. Hailing from Newry these 5 guys have positioned themselves in bustling Manchester, no doubt to be part of the scene and make a big noise, and if this EP is anything to go by, then that they do!

The opening track, the affectionately titled “Itchy Trigger Finger” sets out their stall early. A Tom Meighan-esque vocal style with a hint of Gallagher swagger explodes into life after an echoey, loud hailer-sounding introduction. I can’t decide if this is deliberate or just Hugh’s natural vocal style. However, the wonderful drums (Mick) and swirling guitars do enough to hide the slightly repetitive chorus. There’s an anger in those “c’mon, c’mons” that is alleviated somewhat by the noodly guitars; notably in the bridge, which is the perfect prelude to the song’s ending.

“Kerosene” is in complete contrast and to me hints at Aussie rockers Jet. It’s more an all-out Rock ‘n’ Roller with a clearer more coherent vocal, that occasionally strays into harmonies. More noodling on the racy intro; twinned with a raspy bass in the background and cymbal-led drumming in the bridge. This should be the lead track for me, it’s bouncier with a far stronger vocal, and all-round tighter sound. The way that the middle 8 builds to the finish is really sharp.

“Superficial” immediately reminds me of “JAMC” with Bobby Gillespie on vocals. It’s dark n dirty one minute, clean and crisp the next. The twin-vocal harmonies are allied to more noodling in the bridge and some intricate drumming. Again, I’m in love with the second half of the song which hits the spot; a song of two halves if you like. Like its predecessor, the way the song builds from the bridge to its conclusion is simply great.

King Kartel

“Come At Me Now” has a stomping Glam/Rock intro before the Liam (Gallagher)-esque vocal takes centre stage with added whine! The chiming guitars fight for space behind the occasional echoey vocal. Again the noodly intricacies within the bridge give way to that stomping beat the song began with as it heads for its conclusion. And once again I’m left purring with delight as King Kartel deliver yet another top song ending.

Although new to me, King Kardel have an EP here that will get them noticed. Yes, the influences are there for all to see and hear, but who these days is totally original? They have a number of obvious influences (and much more I’m sure you the listener will pick up). However, what they also have is a clutch of great songs that will keep the Indie/Britrock/Britpop crowd happy. World domination may be a while away, but as a starting point they are heading in the right direction. Watch this space!

King Kartel

Itchy Trigger Finger
Come At Me Now

Band Members
Hugh (vox/guitar)
Mo (bass)
Mick (drums)
Mike (guitar)
Will (lead)



Review by Ross A. Ferrone