Paradise Kings: ‘Controlled Burn’ By Will Phoenix Santa Barbara area band The Paradise Kings is prepping to officially drop their new platter titled Controlled Burn. Having played together for years, the quartet currently includes Henry Garrett on lead vocals, Jeff Gring on guitar, Michael Robertson on bass, and George Lambert on drums. This disc contained almost all original blues and funk-filled songs. This eight-track album opens on “’69 Chevy.” It’s a fun, retro start that immediately makes it clear this band plays to a lot of live audiences. It harkens back to a simpler time of fast cars and fast women. “I’d Sing The Blues If I Had ‘Em” is a solid blues shuffle that focuses on a man who really enjoys blues music. Despite some of the troubles noted in the lyrics this song was written to chase the blues away. “Three Strikes” is the only cover cut of a Gordon Jennings composition. It’s a funk-tinged blues bit about someone who is facing serious time for his multiple crimes. Not to be confused with The Beatles 1964 classic, this “Slow Down” is built on a basic blues shuffle. It tells the tuneful tale of and older man trying to keep current and keep up with a younger woman at the same time. “Butter Me Up” is highlighted by the refreshingly feminine, smoky vocals of Jan Ingram. Obviously influenced by James Brown, this too has a touch of funk and concerns a woman whose man doesn’t treat her very well. “Patience” is not an adaptation of the Guns N’ Roses 1988 track, this one is essentially a 6/8, classic, slow blues number about a man who is in love with a woman who’s in no hurry. It’s a prerequisite perhaps but you can still feel it. Besides, how many songs do you know that reference Nancy Drew? No doubt a great bar number, “Poor Me, Poor Me, Pour Me Another Drink” rocks. This song about a guy who drinks too much then complains about it, is an early favorite of both critics and fans alike. The closing cut is “Money Ain’t My Friend” is incredibly apropos. It’s a live track about a guy who’s working hard to make it but can’t do enough for his lady’s tastes. It stands out not only because it was recorded live at the Soho Music Club and the band has that honest, unfiltered sound. Overall, it’s an apt ending to a compilation of cuts that a simple, basic approach can be undeniably fun and effective in pleasing a crowd. Furthermore, they remain true to the genres from the blues, funk, swing and rock music that serve as their influences. The official CD Release Party goes down on Sunday, July 30 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Uptown Lounge in Santa Barbara, California. If you’re too busy to make the party, make sure you “Slow Down” enough to check out Paradise Kings’ Controlled Burn as soon as you can. Image courtesy of original owner