Ciao, Fake Kings
Review by David Cirone
Hot off the success of their Gatchaman Crowds theme, young J-Rock band WHITE ASH proves itself to be a heavy-hitter with their latest release Ciao, Fake Kings.
Opening track “Casablanca” kicks the album off with some heavy guitar, and follow-up track “Number Ninety-Nine” brings some great backing harmonies to push frontman/guitarist Nobita to one of the album’s finest vocal moments. Check out “Vain Promises” for a remarkable emotional performance.
Groovy bass work and some borderline blues guitar in “Bacardi Avenue” and the gentle interludes of “Under the Lightless” break up the hard-rock canvas at just the right moments to add balance. Closing track “Xmas Present For My Sweetheart” is romantic, assured, and ends the album with a smile.
It’s a great feeling to sit back and let a fully-formed rock album take control for 40 minutes. The tracks are lean and well-produced, and there’s a conceptual confidence in Ciao, Fake Kings that reminds me of early White Stripes or Wolfmother (yes, there’s a lot of “W” in that list), but there’s no copycat element nor reliance on filler from past singles. The album holds together as a complete work, and it brings WHITE ASH’s rock identity into clear focus.