It’s been over 20 years since Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone front man Andrew Wood left us. The remarkable thing about his legacy is that he continues to inspire old friends to make sure the music keeps on rolling.
In 2006, Andrew’s brother Kevin Wood and Regan Hagar (both former Malfunkshun members), were sifting through piles of Andrew’s lyrics which were never recorded. They took those lyrics and used them for a project called From the North. After a couple of personnel changes in the fall of 2007, the band – Shawn Smith (vocals), Kevin Wood (guitars), Mike Hommel (drums) and Rob Day (bass) – were inspired to work on original material which became known as All Hail the Crown!
All Hail the Crown isn’t just a fly by night rock band, these guys have known each other for decades and have impressive music resumes: Shawn Smith (Satchel, Brad, Pigeonhed); Kevin Wood (Malfunkshun, Fire Ants, and Devilhead); Rob Day (Dark Dead Mind, BlackGoat); Mike Hommel (Dark Dead Mind, Crushcoat, Francis Nash).
The songs on the debut album from All Hail the crown have a strange mixture of heavy, sludgy low end provided by Day and Hommel, over that is Smith’s airy, soulful lyrics then Wood, who is one of the best guitarists on the scene right now, adds in his blazing riffs and shredding solos to make it all work.
An odd combination, yes indeed, but when “High Noon” kicks in with its funky beat and Steve Vai-like guitars you can’t keep your head from bobbing back and forth. Other highlights include the melodies and obscure time signatures on “Colossus,” the laid back grooves of “Above Ground” and the funky wah guitar intro on the heavy hitting “Smith’s Arrow.”
Individually, these four guys are extremely talented players which bring their own style to the table. Together Smith, Wood, Day and Hommel are Northwest rock royalty have created a sound that is truly their own. All Hail the Crown indeed.