London rock trio Come At The King are bringing the British attitude and swagger to the American blues-rock and garage rock sound of the early 2000s.
The band first started out with Cal (drums) and Max (guitar and vocals) deciding they wanted to start a band one day after going to Glastonbury together. Three Glastonburys later, and with both of them living in London, they finally got it going and brought in Laurence, who works with Max.
As Max explained: “He plays loads of instruments, so we told him to add bass guitar to the list and he’s in a band! Guess it’s not much different to a cello, as he was fluent within a month. So now it’s begun, all we have to do is get a slot at Glasto – Emily, if you’re reading this – make it happen.”
The latest taste of this is the band’s third single Where’s That Smile, Boy?, which was released last week. It opens up with a cool little guitar riff that drops into a verse led by Max’s laid-back vocals, which intensify and give way to a return of the opening riff.
“If they make it to the end of their lives then you’ll say it’s over it’s alright.” That gives way to a cool guitar solo, which builds up to big vocals “So tell me where’s that smile boy, Why don’t you like to smile boy” before ending on a big smash of guitars.
On the track, Max told us: “It’s filthy. We’ve released Minesweep, which is an energetic indie-garage rock tune, and Shudder, which is a groovy, bluesy tune, then WTSB is a great mixture between the two which really sums up our sound. We’ve got a huge, energetic, loud live sound and we’ve tried to get this across in this track.” Check it out below:
Their debut track Minesweep is a bit of a banger too, opening with a fun riff that’s joined by lively drums. Max’s vocals take over in an energetic verse “Get your hands off my neck, Oh no it’s the boys in blue, I’m afraid that you’re nicked sunshine, Do you know what you’re into, Don’t ask what’s going on in my mind, I ain’t no Escobar, I’m doing it for the show.”
The pace picks up in a singalong chorus “If you could be there just to see, How strange a bunch of people we can be, You better be careful in a minesweep, You’re gonna have to clean up after me” followed by the return of the riff. It’s upbeat, catchy and a real foot-tapper. Give it a listen below:
The band’s garage rock throwback sound is inspired by the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The White Stripes and Led Zeppelin, along with the swagger and arrogance of Oasis and The Libertines.
As Max tells us: “We are all on a very similar wavelength with influences and sounds, which makes the writing process very easy. We like to get really caught up in it when we play live too – watching people like Jack White or Jesse Lacey perform is amazing with the way they just forget what the record sounds like and do whatever they feel like doing on stage – we love playing live so it ends up sounding much bigger.”
While on what inspires them to write music, Max explains is largely inspired by his small town upbringing: “I’m from Stevenage, which has that small town feel but with lots of big egos who think that the town is the centre of everything – so most songs are about people I have known growing up in the town. A lot are also about my mates, as some might have called us ‘degenerates’ with some of the things we got up to, so lots of fun inspiration there.”
There’s a real coolness about the Come At The King sound, and that classic British swagger is evident in their laid-back yet rocky sound.
There’s a big summer coming up for Come At The King, including playing one of the last ever gigs at London’s Borderline – which is one of our favourite gig venues – on 13 July. They’re playing Bad Monday Apparel’s new beer launch in Hertford on 5 July, along with shows at the New Cross Inn and The Horn in St Albans. The band will also launch their debut EP in September, around which they’ll be playing more gigs in London.