Thursday, April 30, 2009

Doves - Kingdom of Rust

The other day I came across the review of Doves’ new album, “Kingdom of Rust,” in an unlikely place: Rolling Stone. You might think it quite surprising that I was looking inside a Rolling Stone in the first place, but even more surprising was the fact that Rolling Stone were bothered to write even a short piece about Doves, a band from the UK that hardly cause a ripple over here. Soon I understood though – it was an opportunity to open with the following byline: “UK trio create epic tunes about (what else?) boring UK.”

What can I say about this kind of thoughtful journalism, but try and write a little about the Doves album that reaches past the merely trite…

I have to work hard not to be swept away by “Kingdom of Rust.” Doves make me melancholy. Their music is moving, but I must confess there is something more particular about my sadness in this case. Doves are from my long-lost hometown of Manchester (UK!), so I’m not claiming journalistic objectivity this time around, but then again, I don’t think I’m completely off the mark when I say that “Kingdom of Rust” is a really warm, engaging album. Doves’ bass driven song construction, mixed with Jimi Goodwin's vocals, create tracks that are much less elaborate then their hometown counterparts Elbow, but remain capable of being similarly ‘epic’ – here, at least, the Rolling Stone piece has some value.

Tracks like “10.03” are an achievement the band should be really proud of, building to a frenzy you might not expect from their commonly seen malaise. “Compulsion” too, shows that Doves have some swagger in them too, along with all the poetry.

Doves are definitely a band worth checking out, if you can stomach all the ‘boring UK’ associations.

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