With synthesized melodicism riding the top of the charts harder than ever before, it is perhaps not surprising that quality rock has become all the more a coveted commodity in 2023. The guitar solos and searing vocals of yesteryear are now the muted cries of expression they started out as, and in the case of the new single “Ready Set Go” from King Falcon, they’re the genesis of a new wave in traditional pop/rock the band is looking to exploit for themselves. Unlike some of the retro acts that made a splash back in the mid-2000s especially, King Falcon is hardly creating their sound in response to anything – on the contrary, they’re making this in celebration of identity rather than in search of one for themselves.
The riffing here is loud and proud, and even though it somewhat minimizes the presence of the bass and drums on more than a couple of occasions, I don’t see where this wouldn’t be a deliberate setup by King Falcon. The growl of the distortion is strong, but not intense enough to drown out the harmony our singer is developing with the rest of the band, and although the bassline has a clandestine role in shaping the rhythm, its bottom-end tones are the foundation of every soaring vocal climax we find in the latter half of the song. The mechanics are brilliant, but it’s only because of the preciseness of this power trio’s delivery that we can appreciate the effort being put into this composition.
While the studio version of “Ready Set Go” brings the big guns to the fight, I think it’s more a teaser for this band’s live sound than it is a flat-out template of their style condensed into a simple effort to get on the radio. There are a lot of groups more than content to advertise the totality of their depth in an initial offering or even a follow-up like this one, but King Falcon just doesn’t strike me as being one of those groups. They’re seeking ambitiousness on another level and pursuing creative conceptualism with a wit that tethers their approach to that of the biggest names to have ever called this genre of music their own. The muscle here is undeniable and hard to get away from, but it’s not defining the core aesthetics that make the track such a listenable piece from one occasion to the next.
Critics everywhere are in love with what King Falcon is doing in this most recent hot to the tough single and its companion music video, and I have to admit that while I was originally a little skeptical of the buzz, there’s just too much moxie in their performance here for any credible rock fan to dismiss “Ready Set Go” as the result of good luck alone. There’s a seriousness in these players that tells me they’re not going to rest in the studio until they have the exact sound and narrative they want to produce perfected, and if their standard can spread around the New York scene in the years to come, it’s going to have a big impact on rock and where the genre goes from here.