Paving the Way is the second album from Reading’s Rocket Kings, following on from 2021’s Everyday Adventures. You get the feeling that this is a group of friends getting together and having the best time. They radiate positive vibes whilst blending catchy tunes and harmonies over rock/pop with a side hustle of folk. The band say:

The song arrangements were more collaborative this time around, partly because we feel like we are all playing better than ever as a band and we feed off each other with creative ideas. Also partly because the band found themselves with time to meet up just after Covid without gigs to practice for. Amongst other things, there are songs about space (a regular theme for the band), yellow birds, missing museums, faithful dogs, tall tales and the Berlin Wall.

The joy imbued in their music is combined with the feeling that this sounds like a really well recorded live album. You get the indie warmth of bands like The Catenary Wires or the Happy Somethings with generous helpings of ukulele to add an extra sprinkling of fun. Paving the Way conjures up images of riding through the countryside in the late summer sun and stopping for a frosty pint of cider in the magic hour, or enjoying music round a glowing campfire. The stand out track for me is the album’s opener ‘Fading Star’, but you lucky Joyzine readers can hear the entire album below as well as watch the video for the title track.

The Rocket Kings are Dave Stewart (ukulele, vocals), Bex Crossland (vocals, ukulele), David Heath (drums), Jess Tuthill (ukulele, vocals), and Yoshiko Nakayama (bass) plus guest Richard Vanryne on trumpet.

Rocket Kings socials: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music

Review by Paul F Cook

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