Joan Jett isn’t the only one who loves Rock & Roll, bitches. Former Hanoi Rocks front man and, let’s face it, Glam Rock Legend, Michael Monroe seems to be fond of it as well. And who could blame him. While Monroe should have been as big of a household name as, say Steven Tyler, it didn’t quite work out that way. But Michael Monroe has always played the hand he was dealt. Looking back in anger is for pussies.
Everything about “Old King’s Road” — aurally and visually — is amazing, but I admit that the ultimate deal clincher in choosing it as this week’s Clip was the fact that I recognized a FaceBook friend in the video, because he is one of Michael’s guitarists. There are no accidents. “Old King’s Road” pays tribute to the famous shopping street in London, where the first wave of British Punk Rock was basically born at the tail end of the ’70s. It makes sense then that everyone in the video is dressed to the nines of Rock & Roll fashion. Because if you are a Rock Star, you need to dress like one. Digging a bit deeper, the lyrics make a series of a vague references to Monroe’s early career in Hanoi Rocks, when the band all lived in London in the early ’80s. Good times, bad times; you know he’s had his share.
As a high-energy tune that rocks hard enough to crack a skull, “Old Kings Road” blends the ferocity of punk with the keen melodic sensibilities of classic power pop bands like The Flamin’ Groovies and The Records. The combination of the two musical forces coming together is irresistible.
Michael’s relentlessly ass-kicking band features the dual guitar assault of Rich Jones (ex Black Halos, a Vancouver-based garage rock band that will forever be near and dear to my heart) and Steve Conte (New York Dolls), plus fellow Hanoi Rocks bassist Sami Yaffa, and Swedish Drumming Juggernaut Karl Rockfist, who has played with just everyone, it seems.
“Old King’s Road” is a tasty rock morsel from Monroe’s forthcoming record, Blackout States, available starting October 9th, 2015 via Spinefarm Records. Enjoy!