By Mike O’Cull
Hard-hitting rockers Kick The Wicked display an impressive sound and vision on the group’s debut EP Drag Magnet.
Released August 30th, 2022, Drag Magnet is a brief, five-song record that outlines Kick The Wicked’s unique artistry and blend of influences. The band is fiercely independent and has forged an original sound that takes in hard rock, metal, funk, and alternative and spins it up into a musical dervish that will appeal to anyone looking for intelligent rock that moves the brain and body.
Even though it’s built around the base elements of metal, groove, and melody, Drag Magnet runs its own race and gives listeners both power and unpredictability. Kick The Wicked has its own ideas about what rock and roll should sound like and the group experiments with ideas and textures that make each of the songs here worthy of your listening time.
Kick The Wicked is Mark Lanoue (lead and backing vocals, guitars), Scott Campbell (guitars, bass, keyboards, backup vocals), and Rory Faciane (drums and percussion). All three players are experienced music industry vets with chops to burn and cross-genre understanding.
They first became a team during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, when they began creating tribute music. After doing 40-some tribute projects, they knew each other’s talents well and it was a natural evolution to begin writing their own music. Thus, Kick The Wicked was born. Now, they’re here and ready to take the music we love in their own direction.
“Kick The Wicked is a monster band with proper talent at every position.”
Drag Magnet goes hard right from the launching pad, opening with the ferocious metal track “Spit It Out.” It starts with a chugging, stuttering guitar riff rendered with a thick, modern tone before exploding into its groove. It’s an intense song with a clear Metallica influence that gives way to the highly-melodic Kick The Wicked style. You get the feeling that these guys like to show you their roots then take them somewhere new.
Mark Lanoue’s lead vocals are strong and more than capable of commanding the center of the arrangement. He throws down with raging, Hetfield-esque verses only to flawlessly shift into an operatic, Geoff Tate-like sound in the choruses. Guitarist Scott Campbell shines here, too, showing off virtuoso soloing skills and tight rhythm work.
“Mr. Know It All” is equally heavy but goes further into modern rock territory. It has a superstar chorus in between hard, atmospheric verses, which makes for a winning combination. Scott Campbell distinguishes himself on guitar once again. His playing is fluid yet solid in all the right places and he works each changing pocket like a beast.
Listen “Mr. Know It All”
Kick The Wicked shifts gears with the straight-up rock of “Blinded By The Lie.” It’s a punchy cut that uses the common language of rock music to deliver a socially relevant message. Lanoue’s lead vocals fly high on this one and he uses hit-single melodies to support a narrative about the condition of our world. Here and throughout the set, Rory Faciane’s drumming is epic, especially his double-bass work.
“Free Me” gets into a heavy funk pocket augmented by a sweet, percolating synth drone. It sounds like a happy song but is actually about a random teenager thinking about suicide. Campbell’s exotic guitar slinging dominates the middle of the track in an amazing way and shows the depth he brings to the band.
Kick The Wicked is a monster band with proper talent at every position. Drag Magnet is a slamming release from this mighty trio and rock fans are going to like what they hear. Highly recommended.
Kick The Wicked website