Doves - Kingdom of Rust review


Mar 27 2009, 5h05

It’s been four years since the Doves released Some Cities, their last full-length. Generally, such a long layover is cause for concern. Fortunately, the Manchester, England band have avoided a Second Coming and are back on top form. Kingdom Of Rust picks up where Some Cities they left off, retaining some of the more electronic elements of that album. This is arguably Doves’ most inventive effort to date, yet it still retains the band’s classic sound.

The slow burning Jetstream opens the album and builds towards some interesting textural ideas, although it doesn’t quite seem to achieve much in the way of a climax. The pace is picked up by the lead single and title track Kingdom of Rust, which grooves along with an expansive sound of a determined band. The pace continues to build with the dirty basslines of the Outsiders and through to Winter Hill, a more conventional Doves number. What follows next though is the centerpiece, 10:03. What begins as a lush ballad about longing for familiarity, abruptly transforms into a gloomy bass-driven jam halfway through. Later on, the funky bassline of Compulsion is positively reminiscent of the bands’ earlier Sub Sub days. Compulsion really illustrates how Doves’ willingness to experiment separates the band from Elbow and its other contemporaries.

The finish though, is the real highlight of Kingdom of Rust. The stomping beat of House of Mirrors and its huge outro which features co-vocals from both of the bands’ brothers, is maybe the band’s best track since Pounding. The piano-led Lifelines then completes the album with a revived sense of passion for the trio. Unfortunately, the band does seem to run out of steam in the middle, as Birds Flew Backwards and Spellbound impede the flow a little bit too much and Kingdom of Rust doesn’t contain the band’s finest lyrics. Sill though, neither of these points can take anything away from this long-awaited success. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for almost any ambitious-sounding British band, but Doves’ Kingdom of Rust really does deserve to go down as one of 2009’s finest.



  • Desdres

    Good review :). I haven't listened to the album yet, but will sure do that later. Hope it has some gems similar to Black And White Town and Here It Comes from the previous albums.

    Mar 29 2009, 13h56
  • Sylviofurtado

    interesting review, great new album by doves... can´t stop listening

    Mar 30 2009, 22h05
  • dabblie

    i've listened to the album about 2 1/2 times and i agree with you--the album starts off immediately (i like the 2 openers very much), then recedes in the middle, and then picks back up in the last 3 tracks. i have a feeling the middle tracks are all growers though... thanks for sharing!

    Abr 4 2009, 15h15
  • wilsonio

    I've listened to it all the way through once and my favourite tracks are Jetstream, Kingdom Of Rust, Winter Hill & Lifelines so far. Pretty much agree with this review... spot on!

    Abr 6 2009, 15h56
  • TheWalkmen

    Thanks for the comments everyone. That was an early review I wrote for my school's paper but after a few weeks with it, Kingdom of Rust really seems to be holding up well. A few of the tracks which hadn't initially clicked have grown on me as well. I picked up my copy today and I can't wait to see them in June.

    Abr 8 2009, 9h16
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