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CD REVIEW:

KING MAKER
Tammy and the Lords of Misrule

If you can’t remember the last time you had an unqualified blast listening to a rock and roll record, then Tammy and the Lords of Misrule have brought a long overdue dose of medicine to you.

A collection of twelve anthems in the making, King Maker is a dream come true for closet air-guitarists, late night apartment dancers, and people who would rather sing into their hairbrush than style with it.  Front woman Tammy Ferranti is a rock star waiting to explode, leading the group with an incredible vocal prowess, some brilliant songwriting, and an infectious “lighten up” spirit that generates out of every note on the album.

“Kind of Girl”, the opening track, will become a huge radio hit if there’s any justice left for rock lovers in the world.  With heavy guitars, bass and drums punctuating an indelible hook, this is the kind of song that could single handedly bring about a change in the national musical climate, much like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” did a decade ago.

The second song, “Radiate”, is indicative of what a magnificent instrument Tammy’s voice is…she structures her vocal lines into carefully cultivated layers that when assembled, storm from the speakers like an all out audio assault.

From its quirky strains comes the lushly beautiful ballad “This Time”, which combines Tammy’s twelve-string strumming with lead guitarist Don Mogill’s chiming, impeccable harmonics and high notes to reach all levels of the sonic atmosphere at the same time.  Credit them both for remembering what rock guitars are capable of…beauty as well as power.

The next two songs are the CD’s most playful ones, “What Baby Wants” and “Camellia Chameleon”, and showcase the group’s appealing sense of fun.  “Turn Yourself Around” is an amazing listen, as Tammy takes a hauntingly lovely vocal line, then adds another, and another until the music becomes nearly all-encompassing at the climax.

“Angelina” is a personal favorite of mine, as the band seems to reach back into a time when jangling guitars and new wave sensibility could go hand in hand…the Lords prove that they can do so again.  “Here We Go” is another favorite; a great tune that also really shows off the chops of bassist Roy Lansdown.  His roller-coaster, melodic bottom ends add extra depth to every tune on the CD, and work so seamlessly that they rarely call attention to themselves, but the attentive listener will be impressed and rewarded.

“Careful” is a bouncy minor-key number with a playful lyric that leads into another of the disc’s more fun tracks, “Paper Cup”.  One can almost picture the smirk on Tammy’s face as she tosses off her dis about the Guinness book (arguably the album’s most quotable line)!

King Maker rounds out with “Ghost of a Chance”, another good guitar driven rocker, and ends with one of the best out-tracks in recent memory, the infecting “Clockwork”.  With Tammy’s catchy rhythm guitar riff punctuated by Roy’s bass and Rick Heitzwebel’s terrific drum beat and accents, I find I can never keep my feet still when I listen to it.  The ending lets the band open up and just jam for a bit, with Don’s razor sharp leads twisting and coiling around the song’s rhythms.  By the time the last beats crash down, there’s only one logical place to go from there…back to track one for another listen.

I’ve been a fan of Tammy and the Lords of Misrule for a couple of years now, with the deeply rooted conviction that if any band could shake modern music out of its humdrum existence of mechanical sounds, drubbing noise and perpetual self-loathing, it’s them.  King Maker is a recording that validates my hopes.  The world is SO ready for this group, and believe me, Tammy, Roy, Don and Rick are equally ready for it.

For more information on Tammy and the Lords of Misrule, or to contact the band, or to order your own copy of King Maker, visit their website!