The Kings Rising


 “Light up another cigarette,” a voice wails to what can only be an indifferent God, and The King’s Rising self-titled album stumbles through the barroom doors and out into a hard rockin’ alcoholic American landscape all too familiar to those raised on false promises, heartbreak, and broken dreams.

Currently comprised of Stone Mason(vocals, guitar), James Lippert(bass), Josh Fritschle(drums), and Ryan Mason(lead guitars); The Kings Rising have been playing to audiences all around the Midwest for years, honing their chops in the band Ivivra Motive before regrouping in 2012 when the original bassist Steve Taylor left. Singer Stone Mason said, “When Steve left the band, James offered to step down from the drum throne and onto bass. Josh was an old co worker of mine who called me out of the blue and said I’d like to play drums. The rest was history.”

The versatility in The Kings Rising is one of the biggest reasons why they have continued to play while other local bands have faded away.

“It was no surprise to our local fans when the line up changed like it did. We all have been playing multiple instruments for years,” guitarist Ryan Mason added.

The debut album by The Kings Rising, recorded at Maso Studios and mastered at Boiler Room Chicago, is the result of the hard work and commitment to furthering the hard rock dialogue left to them by their influences, which include Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, Temple Of The Dog, and genres such as Metal, Blues, Punk, Acid Rock, and Southern Jam.  Their songs have been described as Chris Cornell meets the White Stripes, and one need only to listen to the first few bars of “Motor Sludge” to hear their obvious love for Black Sabbath. In direct contrast, songs like “Down That Road,” “Southern Dancin’,” and “Underneath The Mood” recall a sound most pleasing to those who first fell in love with Greg and Duane Allman’s body of work.  The band really begins to cook on the tracks “Night Time Woman,” “Drinkin’ Gin,” and “Dead Dove,” and the swing of “Honey Trippin’” harkens back to an older brand of rock that The King’s Rising update in a pleasurable, satisfying unified sound made possible by the boys in the back charged with keeping the beat.  

Towards album’s end we hear Stone’s voice pining with the lovely lyric “Relax to find me beside the campfire light,” and we are left to ponder the very nature of that campfire, for what has come before it suggests the end of a life burning out, of a love lost in the wreckage.  One can’t help but ponder, too, the bonfire on the album’s cover—a beautiful tribute to man’s most precious element.  It is here that The King’s Rising offer up their most important contribution to their listeners—the hope of our survival through these dark times.