Four years after Adrian Vandenberg made a spectacular comeback with Vandenberg’s Moonkings the band returns with a sophomore album, simply titled “MK II”. No change of style or vehicle here, “MK II” is a vintage bottle ready to drink in that breathes of pure unadulterated fine classic rock right out of a well attended to and finely selected cellar.
“Tightrope” with its heavyweight strut and prominent tannins of a band spending the last few years on the road have brought the band even more together; ‘We just got to know each other when we recorded our debut album.” Guitar virtuoso and producer Adrian Vandenberg (of Vandenberg and Whitesnake fame) reminisces “I think we all exceeded each other’s expectations. But you really get to know each other while on the road. It was then that I really became impressed by the abundance of energy that this band has. We tried to capture this on our new album”.
Jan Hoving’s vocals are powerful but delicate when needed, and lyrically several songs deserve to be sung along to with a carefree abandon. Turn it up immediately, if not sooner for this - “Angel in Black” is an instant classic with its hooky chorus and followed up by what will become a festival favourite in 2018 and for time to come in “The Fire” which stylistically tips the hat to Led Zeppelin in its verses. Adrian’s guitar playing soars here and twists throughout the album, always serving the song with jaw dropping riffs and solos. There will be some of the rocking old guard that will be reaching for their lighters to hold aloft to “Walk Away” which tells a beautiful yet bittersweet story of love lost.
The duo of “What Doesn’t Kill You” with shining strings and “Ready For The Taking” call for the stereo to be turned up a notch, if you haven’t done so already, and played so loud as to have the neighbours calling the cops. Bassist Sem Christoffel and drummer Mart Nijen Es lock in tightly and provide a solid bed in each song and you can hear the fun Vandenberg’s Moonkings are having from start to finish. “MK II” is true classic rock full of emotion, hope, anthemic songs and further reminds us that such a band are still relevant despite what the button pushing ‘come and see my laptop live’ generation thinks.
Adrian really puts his foot on the gas in the final track which will be a delight to all guitarists and will induce ‘How the hell does he do that?’ head scratches from some; “I allowed myself to rip all over the end section of If You Can’t Handle The Heat. I’ve always found that as a guitar player you should be able to tell a story in about twenty seconds, so this time it was great to break this rule for a change and let myself go completely.”
“MK II” will become a go to for all classic rock fans being a heady mix of ‘70s vintage and modern times with its grandiose yet never overbearing production and most importantly some of the songs that may well stand up to be counted with some of the most revered and loved in the classic rock world.
Angel in Black
All or Nothing
What Doesn't Kill You
Ready for the Taking
Love Runs Out
If You Can't Handle The Heat
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