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Kingdom Come: Rendered Waters

Apparently Lenny Wolf (for he is Kingdom Come) is a man who likes to live in the present. So what could be more here and now than re-recording a few old songs, lobbing in some newies and unleashing them on the unsuspecting record buying public? "I purposely chose tracks from the very early days to show how we play, hear and feel the songs nowadays," says Wolf in the Press notes. "Listening habits have changed dramatically, especially among the younger audience, which made it exciting for me to breathe new life into numbers which have not been heard for a while."

It may have made it exciting for him but to these ears there's not much to get enthused about. Listless would be the word I'd use to describe Rendered Waters. I've tried, I've really tried but nothing's stuck in my mind and I'm even vaguely familiar with Kingdom Come's early life as Led Zep clones. To damn with further faint praise I was working at my desk and had this CD on in the background and I found that I had nearly finished what I was doing and only looked up when I noted that Kissin' Dynamite had come on and I was actually enjoying what I was listening to.

Not one of the new songs feel strong enough to be part of a proper release, not even as a stop gap E.P. whilst the re-recordings are to use the language of the young people here in the UK, a bit 'meh'. Sometimes bands can revisit their past with and use modern technology to show a new side to old material (Saxon and Molly Hatchet have both done so) but unfortunately Rendered Waters is a bit of a missed opportunity.

Track Listing

  1. Cant Deny (new recorded version)
  2. The Wind (new recorded version)
  3. Blue Trees (brand new song)
  4. Should I (new recorded version)
  5. Ive Been Trying (new recorded version)
  6. Pushing Hard (new recorded version)
  7. Seventeen (new recorded version)
  8. Is It Fair Enough (brand new song)
  9. Living Out Of Touch (new recorded version)
  10. Don`t Remember (brand new song)
  11. Break Down The Wall (new recorded version)

Added: March 8th 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 3035
Language: english

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Kingdom Come: Rendered Waters
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-04-30 18:18:21
My Score:

You would imagine that being born with a voice with similar power and passion to that of the legendary Robert Plant could only be seen as a blessing. However as in the case of Lenny Wolf, when you decide to utilise that talent by releasing a debut album full of heavily Led Zep inspired music the end results caused such consternation that the recently departed guitar God Gary Moore went as far as to write a song called "Led Clones" about that said album (and other bands doing similar things musically). Like most hard rock fans I have to admit that my contact with Kingdom Come, who are the band that Wolf fronts really starts and finishes with the said self titled debut which was released way back in 1988 and the follow up "In Your Face" which saw the light of day a year later. With hindsight both albums are actually pretty fine, if derivative collections of good old classic heavy rock and there really is no denying that Wolf had an extremely fine set of pipes. Move forward 23 years and amazingly 12 albums from that 1989 release and Wolf has decided to put together a band retrospective containing re-recorded versions of some of the band's finer moments and a trio of brand new tracks. Oddly the press release for the album talks of how Lenny wants to move forward by looking back at his career and while that doesn't really make much sense, it does allow him the opportunity to reappraise his own music.

The best known songs on the collection are the three from the "Kingdom Come" album "Pushing Hard", "Living Out Of Touch" and "17" and the solitary track from "In Your Face" "The Wind", all of which are given a new lease of life through slightly altered arrangements and approaches (and a drier production), without ever losing the song's original identities. Listening to these tracks for the first time in quite a few years, it is still possible to hear why they caused such a furore with the Zep police, but it is also still clear that these are fantastic slabs of riff heavy classic rock that hit the mark with clear, clean precision. Surprisingly given the extensive catalogue the band through their various guises have built up, three of the other reworked songs come from the band's third album "Hands Of Time" and with the strength of the deeper, more introspective "I've Been Trying", the insistent steady riff of "Should I" and the slightly Scorpions tinged "Can't Deny", which opens the album in fine style, it is an album I need to seek out for further appraisal. The last of the old tracks is "Break Down The Walls", which is actually a song that Wolf's pre-KC band Stone Fury recorded, and as such is slightly different from the other numbers on show, with a more American hard rock vibe, Dokkenesque harmony vocals and an up tempo, catchy riff. It maybe isn't the strongest track on the disc, but it does make for a very interesting change of focus. For me the weakest link to this album is actually the three new tracks which are slightly progressive, yet also a little grungy in their outlook. There's nothing wrong with any of the three, with their big down tuned guitars trudging along, but after a few listens to this album, I am far more inclined to seek out the Kingdom Come back catalogue rather than to eagerly await a new album.

"Rendered Waters" is a really good starting point for those who have never really investigated Kingdom Come or their music and is a welcome opportunity to reappraise a much misunderstood band.

Kingdom Come: Rendered Waters
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-03-08 16:23:36
My Score:

To be honest, I've not heard a lick of music from the Kingdom Come camp in over 20 years, since their self-titled debut actually, which did have its share of good songs, most notably the Led Zep influenced "Get It On". Since that time, I've basically forgotten about Lenny Wolf & Co. until now, and to my surprise I find that they've released a slew of albums in the 23 years since that debut. Their latest, Rendered Waters, is somewhat of a compilation, as the band have gone into the studio to re-record some classic Kingdom Come songs, plus 3 new tunes, as a way of 'updating' some of these old pieces.

Though some of their better known tunes are here ("Living Out of Touch", "Should I", and "Pushin' Hard"), their biggest hit "Get It On" is surprisingly absent. As I'm not familiar with anything they've done since that debut, I'll say that much of this material is pretty damn heavy, as tunes like "Blue Trees", "The Wind", and "Can't Deny" feature some surprisingly crunchy riffs and pounding rhythms to go along with Wolf's 'Robert Plant meets Klaus Meine' vocal delivery. The already mentioned "Pushin' Hard" is quite kickin' with some beefy, distorted guitar riffs, and "Seventeen" has a groovy, slow, grinding feel to it, as Wolf drops in his slippery vocal lines over a wall of crunch and plodding drums. "Break Down the Wall" has a bright, 80's hard rock feel that woudn't have sounded out of place on a Dokken record, and "Is It Fair Enough" mixes moody atmosphere with epic metal soundscapes. The set though is dragged down by a couple of sappy ballads that clash with the heavier sounds of the rest of the album.

In summary, I'm going to go against the grain of many reviews out there that are cutting this one down and give the CD a solid 3 stars. I guess for longtime fans, Rendered Waters is somewhat of a cop out, but if you are fairly new to the band, this is a pretty enjoyable heavy rock record that could serve as a good introduction.

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