Chicago rock outfit Kevin Lee & The Kings, who describe their sound as “big hooks and chunky guitars,” recently dropped a new single, entitled “Wind It Up.”
Made up of Kevin Lee (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Kurtz (lead guitar, vocals), Patty Prendergast (bass, vocals), and Erik Strommer (drums), the band constitutes a super-group, since each member boasts an impeccable resume. Prendergast toured the world as part of Bitch and Tough Love; Kurtz played with Madfox, Bombs Away, and Half Bitten Moon; while Strommer performed in East Coast bands Broken Arrows and Catfish Hunter.
On his part, in 1992, Lee, along with his band the Lonesome City Kings, signed with MCA, releasing the hit single, “Standing in the Line of Fire,” which went on to appear in an NBA All-Stars clip, as well as Hollywood’s A Dangerous Woman, a film nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Lee followed with the release of Walk A Mile In My Shoes, a solo album, which was followed by Loaded, and then Flip the Switch. In 2010, Kevin Lee & The Kings released Dusk Till Dawn, featuring “Time Won’t Stand Still,” hitting the number one spot on Cincinnati’s WMWX. The band followed with Breakout and Sticks & Stones.
“Wind It Up” opens on hefty guitars pushing out thick potent tones, as Strommer’s crunching percussion propels the muscular rhythm along with Prendergast’s massive bassline. The melody, straight-ahead tight and right rock and roll, surges with brawny textures rippling with the retro viscous dynamism of Foreigner and Bad Company, only with more raw punch.
Be sure to listen to the bridges, pulsing with visceral guitar riffs nebulously reminiscent of Rare Earth’s cover of The Temptations’ “Get Ready.” This is delectably powerful rock and roll, uncooked yet refined at the same time.
Lee’s voice, rich, intense, and on the mark, infuses the lyrics with tantalizing sonic savors of vocalists like Rick Derringer, Lou Gramm, and Paul Rogers, with hints of pop-flavors from Rick Springfield. In other words, it’s a grand voice, both luxurious and intimate.
Along with Lee’s vocals, the highlight of “Wind It Up” is Lee’s blistering guitar solo, imbuing the tune with searing energy on scorching licks. Kevin Lee & The Kings know how to rock.