CD Review: Kris Heaton Band “Law of the Jungle”

For those who say that there is no good rock and roll being produced anymore, you just don’t know where to look. One specific artist outthere right now that has the talent needed to create strong music is Kris Heaton. Joined by Ace Foster, the two men make up the base for the Kris Heaton Band. This band has been waiting for just the right time to set the music industry on fire. They may have just found that opportunity, as they just released a new album entitled Law of the Jungle.

On Law of the Jungle, Kris Heaton took creative control and put together an album that features his playing on guitar, bass, keys and drums, with Ace Foster adding percussion, harmonica and background vocals to songs that alternate between rock-based and blues-based approaches. This blues/rock combination that exists throughout the songs helps to create a certain vibe on the album that will literally grab your attention and refuse to let go for over an hour’s worth of music.

Law of the Jungle from the Kris Heaton Band begins with “The Rain Song”. The punk/rock feel of the hard-hitting track gives the listener an immediate sense of the talent from Kris Heaton right from the start. From there, the album never lets up.

“Midnight Romeo” is the second track of the album. On this song, the music will probably remind you the most of John Mellencamp, as the song definitely has a Mellencamp feel to it……………especially the more rockin’ songs from that musician.

On the title track of “Law of the Jungle,” Kris Heaton gives this song more power to bring the energy level back up. The hard rock song features some solid guitar playing from Heaton, and his drums also help to push that energy level up on the track.

Lyrically, the track “Virginia” is one of the strongest songs on the album and feels like a single. The track’s solid rock sound will transport you back to the eighties, as the song brings back some of the feeling from that era. The horns from Joe Meo add to that feeling. While the song itself is very upbeat, the lyrics to the story tell of a woman who loses her life to a stranger in town. The song’s simple refrain will get you singing along after only one verse.

Kris Heaton changes musical directions for the next two tracks on the album: For “Crossfire” and “Businessman,” Heaton calls upon his inner bluesman to perform. With songs that feel closer to material from Stevie Ray Vaughn than to Robert Johnson, these tracks allow the listener to experience the versatility of Kris Heaton as a musician. Heaton also steps back from the spotlight just a little on “Businessman” as Donna Bocuzzi joins him on a duet-like approach to the tune.

“Lonely is the Night” is a song by the Kris Heaton Band that brings back the sound and energy of that radio format from the eighties known as “power rock”. This track is one of the most commercial, yet slightly outdated, songs on the release. For those who miss that style of rock and roll, this track is a fine reminder of what rock and roll music used to sound like.

Heaton brings back a little of the blues for the song “He’s Coming”. While harder than the vast majority of the blues, the song’s subject of the “devil child” is well known to lovers of the blues. “He’s Coming” is easily one of the strongest tracks on Law of the Jungle.
“Hurricane Blues” is yet another track that features the blues. But while “He’s Coming” also has a strong rock feel to it at the same time, this song feels closer to the blues than to rock and roll. This song also features the harmonica playing from Ace Foster, giving him a more prominent position on the track, which helps to give the song itself some real blues feel.

Law of the Jungle comes to a close with the track “Not Tonight”. Adding a little positive energy to the end of the album, the lyrics of the song tell of the ending to a beautiful day. Whatever comes tomorrow doesn’t matter tonight.

Throughout the fifteen tracks of Law of the Jungle from the Kris Heaton Band, the listener receives many moments of listening pleasure. The talents of Kris Heaton and Ace Foster shine through, as do the rest of the musicians who help bring the album to life. There isn’t one low point throughout the hour-long album, and that keeps the listener hungry for more. Now, if only more albums were this strong.