Kickin Valentina – Star Spangled Fist Fight (Mighty Music)

Wednesday, 17th April 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Atlanta, Georgia is home to Kickin Valentina – a four-piece band who incorporate a mix of sleazy hard rock with bluesy and heavy metal touches for their fourth album Star Spangled Fist Fight. Signing early on with Mighty Music in 2015, they’ve charted in the US and Europe as well as shared the stage with acts like Skid Row, Doro, Queensrÿche, and Buckcherry to name a few. Aligning with producer Andy Reilly (Bruce Dickinson, UFO, Cradle of Filth), this is a ten-song affair that’s unapologetic in its energetic presence – authentic, kick in the teeth material that should go down a storm with a multitude of hard rock or metal followers.

Angst drives the full throttle punk/sleaze-oriented “Fire Back”, where vocalist D.K. Revelle spits forth his venomous taunts to the haters or snakes in the grass surrounded by heads down musical support in the Hardcore Superstar-like vein, the lead break of guitarist Heber Pampillon volleying equal tastiness in his note choices or supplementary squeals/bends. Proper dynamic shifts keep the track list flowing seamlessly – Kissin’ Dynamite-ish gang background support vocals give “Man On a Mission” that extra memorable melodic push as the strong rhythm section backbone of bassist Chris Taylor and drummer Jimmy Berdine lay down that thick groove foundation to keep feet tapping or bodies swaying to the hooks. You can tell the road life allows these musicians ample opportunity to drill deeper into songwriting mechanics – creating push/pull elements where the vocals squeeze the right emotional resonance next to a pulsating, driving chord / groove progression – “Takin a Ride” and the closing title track two surefire winners, the narrative nuances supplementing the proceedings in the right direction.

The cover art matches the fist to the face philosophy Kickin Valentina deliver on Star Spangled Fist Fight. It’s a dirty, down to earth style meant to be heard at peak volumes in sweaty night clubs or to tens of thousands across the festival stages. Crank this mutha loud, scream along and enjoy these songs.

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