Spearheaded by unknown guitarist Jeremy Brunner, X-Drive is a hard rock project that celebrates 80s melodic rock in a particularly unashamed and brazen fashion. Joining Brunner on this particular journey are ex-White Lion bassist James Lomenzo, Montrose vocalist Keith St. John and Midline drummer Fred Fischer. They say you can’t always judge a book by the cover, but this band’s general style should be obvious after one look at their dubious choice of album sleeve. It’s not as bad as Montrose’s staggeringly awful ‘Jump On It’ – a sleeve that clearly inspired the end result – but it’s pretty unnecessary.
King Kobra’s 2011 comeback disc turned its back completely on the brilliant AOR sounds that filled the grooves of the band’s 1985 classic ‘Thrill of a Lifetime’, preferring instead to indulge in shameless musical chest-beating and overly macho clichés. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as 1988’s absolute stinker ‘King Kobra III’, but it represented a far cry from their best work. Although it is their sixth release, they’ve chosen to call their 2013 outing ‘King Kobra II’, since it clearly picks up the mantle where the self titled record ended, pairing the band’s founding members with ex-Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino for more leather-based party rock anthems.