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Doves “Kingdom of Rust” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Kingdom of Rust immediately dives into classic rock territory with the band’s spiraling, Steve Miller Band-like electronics in the album’s lead track “Jetstream.” Fitting that from there, the album initially succeeds by tracing the history of bands who had all but vanished a couple decades ago. Aside from the rushed sounds of “The Outsiders,” the album’s best tracks, “Kingdom of Rust” and “Winter Hill,” fill out Kingdom of Rust’s first half as the band wades through layered, calculated music that is slow to climax but thoroughly enjoyable. Despite it’s encouraging lead songs, Kingdom of Rust briefly falls into a pattern of moody songs that project dreary inconsistency. After the crushing “10:03,” the songs begin to slow and as the introduction to “Birds Flew Backwards” fades in all momentum the album had is lost. In the song Jimi Goodwin shifts vocal trends for the first time on the album, extending his moans as far as they can reach, all accompanied by a beautiful (though out of place) bed of strings in the process. Though pleasant, “Birds Flew Backwards” creates a jarring divide in Kingdom of Rust; though not comparatively poor, the following songs end up sounding less powerful than the first half of the album due to the divide. After tossing in a funky bass-line with “Compulsion” and the thuddish stomper “House of Mirrors” the album closes with “Lifelines.” The song has the most enjoyable melody on the second half of the album, but it begs question as to how the tracks would have sounded had they been ordered a bit differently. On the first few listens Kingdom of Rust hardly sounds like a fitting follow-up for a band that has twice been nominated for the esteemed Mercury Prize. But after listening to each song as a unique piece, the music begins to reflect the skill that is expected of the veteran band. And if nothing else, any band that can successfully replicate the elusive “Fly Like An Eagle”-swirl has my vote of confidence.