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Doves - Kingdom of Rust

2009-06-22 10:41
Kingdom of Rust
While we were implored to see how the stars shined for us and open our eyes before shutting them again (and other such romantic nothing-isms) Doves have been delving a little deeper, going to much darker, more alluring places and producing music that unhinges the soul while emitting a wall of dazzling light. You know how some music makes you see colours and shapes and whole new worlds? Well, in that case, Doves is the Vincent van Gogh of rock and Kingdom of Rust, their fourth album, is their "Starry Night".

In true Doves tradition, the opener "Jetstream" is an epic traipse through New Order-ish electro shuffles before morphing into a prog rock freak-out, while maintaining its euphoric dance beat. The title track is one of their best singles, a bruising and elegiac rumination on… a broken relationship? The wonder of life? The coming apocalypse? Who knows? It offers a sublime soundtrack to either. "The Outsiders" is another pulsating rock stomp, that might see the band finally make headway as a radio-friendly act. But, as always, their bright moments are offset by their inherent knack for wallowing in more opaque vistas –their most alluring quality - but also the reason they're not exactly selling out stadiums.

"10:03" starts off all moody and urgent, before becoming an incredibly sexy black hole of unbridled passion. They do stately pretty damn well too, and as a band wracked by the tension between their identity and their creative impulse, "The Greatest Denier" serves as a fitting anthem to the current state of Britishness.

There's something oddly familiar about Kingdom of Rust – it sparkles and bucks as effectively as previous albums "The Last Broadcast" and "Some Cities" - but there is an ambition to the sonic experimentation in Kingdom of Rust that makes it their most compelling work yet. Whether this somehow propels Doves into the bigger leagues is perhaps not high in their minds. This is the sound of a mature, wisened band who now sound absolutely untouchable.

For some unfathomable reason, Doves, a Manchester indie trio who have been together in various forms for nearly 25 years, have never found true success outside of their homestead, despite a string of acclaimed albums, sold-out tours and awards appreciation. They were a band to appreciate, rather than get excited about.

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