Kingsborough music a throw back to classic rock legends
December 11, 2012
In an industry candy-coated with drum machines and auto-tuned voices, Kingsborough is a band that brings back the heart and soul of rock and roll. It is a band that relies on musicianship and talent instead of the over-production and auto-tune of today’s music. The band feels that plain and honest rock and roll has lost its following, lacking like-minded bands as much as it does the fan base it once held.
Following the musical footsteps of modern bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White and bands as old as Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers and The Rolling Stones, Kingsborough represents the vibrant past of blues-rock. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Billy Kingsborough, writes many of the bands songs and when the band composes a song together, they turn to Billy to write the lyrics. “I will often go into song writing with an idea in mind when I go about it myself,” Kingsborough said. “But when we write together I will listen to the music and usually something comes out of the song that begs to be sung about.”
Backing Kingsborough is singers/lead guitarists Ross Barbieri and SRJC student Alex Leach. Providing the low end on bass is Chris Mangione, while drummer John Whitney keeps the band pulsing with the beat. The guitars rip out brilliant solos and unselfishly pick the melody lines when backing vocals. The bass is the solid backbone to the music, as Mangione’s full tone gives depth to the sound and takes center stage on the EP’s funky second track, “Happy to Find.”
The drums tie everything together. Highly syncopated and in your face, Whitney’s musicianship can be appreciated by his cleverly simplistic rhythms and builds tension in the song until the point where everything comes together.
On the EP’s third song, “Daydream,” the band’s musicianship and chemistry blends perfectly. Starting with just an acoustic guitar and lead vocals, the song begins with a very calm and lonesome feeling. A song about dreams of sailing away with someone special until reality sets in, the clean chime-like sound of the guitars and the simple yet powerful rhythms of Mangione and Whitney make you feel the calm wonder that the rocking of a small boat sailing to parts unknown might bring. The song is great because no single instrument overpowers the others. Yet, they all come in strong during the song’s climax and finish off up-beat and up-tempo.
On the fourth song, the band’s southern rock influences can be heard. With its powerful beginning and belted- out vocals, the passion of the golden oldies of southern rock have been revived. The guitar solos toward the song’s ending are fast, tight and exactly what the song calls for. The intermingling of the two lead guitarists soloing brings back the sounds of The Allman Brothers and Thin Lizzy, two bands that made a name for themselves with two complementing solo guitarists.
The EP’s final track, “Mr. Wind,” is a live recording that gives a taste of what Kingsborough’s performances are like. To put it simply, the band is outstanding live. “We all grew up idolizing the Allman Brothers,” Leach said. “We knew that our band had to follow in their shadow, to strive to make our live performances sound like the studio recording, or better.”
Kingsborough might very well be the best band affiliated with SRJC and certainly one of the gems of the area’s local music scene. We might see Leach quit school when the band hits it big, because these guys are professionals with the drive and talent to make a difference.