A welcome return from one of Britain’s most underestimated rock bands, Kingdom of Rust, the fourth album from the Manchester trio and their first since 2005’s chart topping Some Cities, is surely their finest release so far. Combining the intensity of their last record and the melancholic grace of their anthemic 2002 single "There Goes The Fear", Kingdom of Rust is terrific throughout. From the opener "Jetstream", a suitably cinematic rush inspired by the Blade Runner soundtrack, to the elegant closer "Lifelines", Doves sound better than ever. The title track is a gently grooving, oddly haunting space-blues over a rockabilly beat, "The Outsiders" is built on a motorik rhythm and a heavy bassline and "Winter Hill" marries an instantly familiar folk melody to some relentless and fragile sequencing. But it’s the clever arrangements from singer Jimi Goodwin and the Williams brothers that capture the listener, details such as the thumping Northern Soul bassline that kicks in at the conclusion of "Winter Hill" or the rumbling, chattering synths that keep driving tunes like "Jetstream" forward. Only the languid, if enjoyable funk of "Compulsion" disrupts the cohesive mood. It’s still easy to hear hints of Mancunian forbears such as the Smiths and New Order- this band could come from nowhere else--but with Kingdom of Rust Doves have added another future classic to the city’s canon.--Steve Jelbert
The long-awaited fourth studio album by the Manchester-based rock band. Produced by the band along with Dan Austin and John Leckie, the album has been well received by the critics and features the top 40 single 'Kingdom of Rust'.
Doves first came to attention in 2000 with the release of their magnificent debut album Lost Souls. Actually that's not quite the case, they originally were Sub Sub some centuries ago (ie: early 90s) and had their moment in the rave-up. The
Mancunian trio of Jimi Goodwin and brothers Jez and Andy Williams have spent the last decade becoming one of the best bands in the country with some of the finest tunes - The Cedar Room, Catch The Sun, There Goes The Fear, Black & White Town - that most people would exchange careers for. On this, their fourth album, the sound you can hear in the distance is the noise of lesser bands giving up.
Kingdom Of Rust is possibly Doves' finest moment yet in a catalogue full of magic. The title track is a cascading western shuffle that brings to mind cowboys riding across the Pennines. Opening track Jetstream welds Kraftwerk touches to its sheer, futurist sheen and suggests that the four years since the last album have been spent wisely. Birds Fly Backwards is almost Wally Stott arranging the Beach Boys.
Compulsion sexily slinks along in a wonky Blondie's Rapture kinda way, while House Of Mirrors shatters along like some unearthed gem from Joe Meek's record box. The expansive moogin' and krautrock touches on The Outsiders even suggests a Lancashire Secret Machines.
If the long deserved success of Elbow has given you a taste for unshaven Mancunians who specialise in life affirming and uplifting wonder, then Doves are your boys.
Admittedly, they've already been reasonably successful, what with their last two albums The Last Broadcast and Some Cities being chart-toppers and such, but as a wider whistled-by-the-milkman concern, Kingdom Of Rust may just increase their fanbase significantly. Why can't more bands make this kind of effort? Widescreen, windswept and grittily euphoric - well now, no one's said that about Oasis lately have they? In a year that's fast becoming a vintage one for albums, Doves storm to the top of the pile. Absolutely brilliant. --Ian Wade
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DOVES Kingdom Of Rust (2009 Taiwanese issue 11-track CD album sealed picture sleeve with obi-strip)