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Mama Kin - "In The City" (CD)

Mama Kin - "In The City" CD cover image

"In The City" track listing:

1. Badge And A Gun (3:39)
2. In The City (3:10)
3. You Belong To Me (4:05)
4. Mrs. Operator (3:12)
5. Higher And Higher (4:53)
6. Too Much (3:33)
7. Fortune And Fame (2:59)
8. Superman (4:32)
9. You (3:20)
10. Champagne, Chicks & Rock n' Roll (2:27)

Reviewed by on October 27, 2010

"As far as debuts go, this may be one of the best of 2010."

It feels like all I've been reviewing lately are retro bands, and they were all starting to sound the same – until I took a listen to Swedish hard rockers Mama Kin. Yes, these guys took their name from the old Aerosmith song, but that's the only comparison I can really make between them and the aging rockers. Who they do remind me of is Kiss, circa "Detroit Rock City" days, and that is certainly not a bad thing.

"In The City" is relatively short for a full length album, only clocking in around 35 minutes. And chances are by the time you reach the end of the light speed fist-pumping sing along final track "Champagne, Chicks & Rock n' Roll," you'll be disappointed that there isn't more.

These songs aren't complicated or showy; the guitar riffs are simple and the drums aren't flashy, but the simplicity of these tracks is actually refreshing. Sure there are moments where they feel dated, like in the sirens that can be heard in the background of the title track, or the operator recording in "Mrs. Operator," but Mama Kin makes up for this in spades with their no frills, hard hitting, pure hard rock.

The vocalist, known only by the name of Ward, sounds so much like Paul Stanley of Kiss that if you didn't know better you might actually think you were listening to a new Kiss album. It doesn't hurt that Mama Kin incorporates a lot of the same gang vocals and party hard lyrics as the iconic rockers. But "In The City" isn’t strictly retro – some of the better tracks like "Higher and Higher" and "Superman" could definitely compete with Hinder's "All American Nightmare."

Surprisingly, there isn't a bad track, though "You Belong To Me" is probably the weakest, and even more surprising is that this is Mama Kin's debut album. As far as debuts go, this may be one of the best of 2010. It certainly makes me excited about what Mama Kin has in store for the next round.

Highs: Fun, hard rocking songs that are purely for enjoyment.

Lows: Guitar work may not be flashy enough for some.

Bottom line: A killer debut from a band that may take their name from Aerosmith, but sounds like the Kiss of your youth.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)