On first listen, much like their sophomore album ‘Against All Odds’, there is not much that impresses. An 80’s rock sound permeates most songs and at first I thought ‘Shit, I hate 80’s sounds’. With a few exceptions music from the 80’s leaves me cold. But that initial prejudice slowly faded with each listen and I can safely say that the first half of the album has won me over. From album opener ‘Catch Alight’ to track 5 ‘So Close’ aKING have nailed it. The first single ‘The Runaround’ is a classic aKING treffer up there with ‘I Believe’ and ‘Against All Odds’.
Overall ‘The Red-Blooded Years’ is an album that justifies aKING’s position in the South African rock heirachy. The replacement of Hunter Kennedy with Andrew Davenport seems to have worked out and the addition of keys to the mix is a good touch that compliments their sound well although I’m sure they were only included to help capture that 80’s rock sound. With the exception of a horrible few songs in the middle, this album is as enjoyable as ‘Dutch Courage’ and ‘Against All Odds’