doves kingdom of rust

Review Round-Up #12

More reviews; this time around, all from the U.S.

Vue Weekly, Album Review:

Vue Weekly

Stragglers from the ’80s Madchester scene, this Northern England trio has been rising like a phoenix since a fire burned down the Goodwin twins’ studio in 1996 and they fluttered away from dance-music, as Sub-Sub, into the Doves’ beating alt-rock sound. Their third disc, Some Cities, was their best yet, and their ability to swoop over the landscape, from close city streets to open country field, is on display here from the start. “Jetstream” whirs to life on a beat that becomes choppier and catchier as a gentle pulse settles in behind it, only for it all to implode at the percussion-heavy climax—an urgent riff that never becomes desperate. The title track is a particularly elegant, fine-tuned example of Doves’ signature rambles through rising rock-chords, rolling folk-ballad sounds and the English landscape: “a distant sound of thunder out on the moor … it takes an ocean of trust.” The openings to most tracks here offer a greater, whimsical promise than most openings on most alt-rock discs. And the band stutters, ducks and dodges around enough to give its sound a new rhythm each time, as in the looping jangle of “10:03,” clatter-and-ring of “Spellbound” and fuzzing surge of “House of Mirrors.” Only “Compulsion” is a little ponderous. Kingdom of Rust is the sort of album that crystallizes a band’s style without petrifying it into brittle amber. There’s no stale air to oxidize the sound here—nothing but a soaring exhalation pushing against the limits.

College Times, Album Review:

College Times

They might live largely in the shadow of Euro contemporaries Coldplay and Snow Patrol here stateside, but Manchester band Doves deftly replicate the feats (and the faults) of both bands on their fourth full-length Kingdom of Rust.

Recorded in a farmhouse studio in the agricultural countryside of Cheshire, England, several cuts soaked up the group’s rustic surroundings. Take title track “Kingdom of Rust,” on which the blokes sound a bit like an electrified Coldplay out on the range.

But the majority of the album is the same old broad, likeable Brit-rock the world knows and loves, tweaked just enough to keep things interesting. Like the sprawling, taut opener “Jetstream,” built on electro-pulses and abbreviated guitar riffs.

“10:03″ builds with similar tension until finally relenting into a full-on rock ‘n roll tangent, a welcome respite from all the dramatic build-ups, practically protected by law in the Brit-rock genre.

“Compulsion” is a sexy, spacey, groove-riding diversion, but only an exception to the rule. Doves, for all the electro tinges and dance-rock infusions and soaring mood-building, play most comfortably within the confines of classic, guitar-driven British pop-rock, and they play it well.

New York Daily News, Album Review:

New York Daily News

Doves soundin’ real coo-l

The Doves’ new CD doesn’t vary wildly from the three that preceded it (the most recent being “Some Cities” four years ago). It’s still big on foreboding bass lines, tall walls of guitars and vocals that cascade in a broad and leisurely way. That isn’t to dismiss the melodies entirely. They can be fetching. But ultimately it’s the stark darkness of the mellotron, the sweet glisten of the guitars and the fine swish of cymbals that gives these Doves flight.

To read the full review, click here.

The Daily Californian (via, Album Review:

Whether it’s the taut, minor-key riffings of lead-off “Jetstream” or the twangy swing-along of the later tracks, much of the album is strangely reminiscent in tone of a spaghetti Western. In fact, the first few tracks produce a sonic tension that you expect at any moment to be interrupted by Clint Eastwood kicking down the saloon doors, brandishing a pistol and booting skulking villains over the bartop counter.

To read the full review, click here.

New Interview At

The online presence of Clash Magazine,, has a revealing new interview with Andy & Jez Williams, discussing free downloads, maintaining their mystique and Rick Myers’ albums artwork.

Of course, new bands are under great pressures to succeed. Do you think things have changed in this area since your first album?

Both: Yeah.

J: I think it’s very tough for young, new bands nowadays. There are no development deals available. You can put a first album out and if it doesn’t do well you’re dropped, seemingly no questions asked. At the other side of the spectrum, there’s what happens if your debut does really well: this thing called the second album. It depends what kind of band you are, but I get the impression there are more bands today who will look to do their first album again –the public knows their sound, and they get it, so the band responds and makes more of the same. I’ve seen that happen enough times. But then again a band might not develop their sound ‘til the third album, and if the second one doesn’t work out they never get the chance to get that far. It’s just tough, y’know.

To read the full interview, visit this link.

Review Round-Up #9

A couple more reviews.

Incidentally, that awful Associated Press review I posted yesterday appears to have been syndicated on nearly every North American news site…

Diamondback Online, Album Review:

Diamondback Online

“Spellbound” perfectly melds The Bends-era Radiohead and the soaring atmospherics of Coldplay. An acoustic guitar in the background provides necessary grounding for the song to march along.

“House of Mirrors” combats its own polish with driving drum beats and heavily distorted guitars to become one of the few unabashed anthems of the album.

To read the full review, click here., Album Review:

Doves fourth studio album sees the Mancunian band expand on their full, lush and abounding indie rock sound with flourishes of electronica, funk, country and some imposing production. Opener Jetstream’s pulsating undercurrents are just the first sign that Doves haven’t entirely abandoned the dance roots of their Sub Sub beginnings, while the sleazy funk and retro vibe of Compulsion demonstrate a new, less urgent side.

Despite these embellishments, Kingdom of Rust is still very much an alt-rock album. That’s made clear by the continued dominance of the guitar work, clear and cleanly plucked, as on Spellbound, or gritty and grimy, as on House of Mirrors. Combine this with the reverb drenched vocals and off beat rhythms, and Doves have the power to be quite engrossing.

There’s an air of dejection throughout Kingdom of Rust which can be overwhelming, both in the good and the bad sense. The glum atmosphere can become trying at times (Birds Flew Backwards), but it also makes tracks like The Outsiders and 10.03, which builds upon the wretched and miserable until it transforms into a rip-roaring rhythm-led guitar sequence. Kingdom of Rust’s main downfall is the plain sailing of tracks like Winter Hill and The Greatest Dernier – predictable, average and out of place on an otherwise strong and intense album.

Doves On Track For U.K. #1 Album

Music Week reports that the album sold a staggering 18,500 copies on its first day of release, yesterday.

Music Week

Doves flying high in sales reports

Doves look set to score another number one album this Sunday, with their new set Kingdom Of Rust (Heavenly) leading a wealth of new entries to the chart.

The Heavenly album sold around 18,500 units on its day of release yesterday, comfortably outselling nearest competitor Lady GaGa’s The Fame (Polydor), which topped the charts last week.

To read the full article, click here.

Review Round-Up #8

A few more reviews…

Associated Press (via, Album Review:

Doves’ 4th album, ‘Kingdom of Rust,’ good but not good enough

The British trio Doves spent nearly two years crafting a follow-up to its stellar 2005 album, “Some Cities.” Sadly, “Kingdom of Rust” comes up short.

That’s not to say it isn’t good. It just doesn’t match the punchy vibe of “Some Cities” and, at times, may actually be a bit boring.

Jimi Goodwin, Jez Williams and Andy Williams, who first started playing together as teenagers in Cheshire, England, aimed to stretch their musical muscles on “Rust.” And on many tracks, they succeed. The album opener, “Jetstream,” is an electro-tinged, Kraftwerk-inspired song. “The Outsider” mixes classic rock rhythms with electronic sounds. And the album’s best track, its title song, is a rhythmic romp blending bright guitars with a galloping, cowboy-style bassline.

But other tracks simply fail to excite. With its fat, driving bass, “Compulsion” shows promise but ends up being an 1980s electropop throwback. Similarly, anthemic songs such as “Winter Hill” and “Greatest Denier” are good enough, but ultimately forgettable. The love song “Spellbound” and the ethereal “Birds Flew Backwards” are musically lovely, but don’t cry out for a repeat play.

Where “Some Cities” beckoned the ears with each track, “Rust” fades into the background. Too bad the albums weren’t released in reverse.

Check out this track: Arranged by Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers, “10:03” starts slow and builds into a layered, bass-heavy rocker with driving rhythms.

Rolling Stone, Album Review:

Rolling Stone

For their fourth record in nine years, Doves deliver gorgeous, sonically adventurous tunes dappled with strings, droning guitars, Radiohead-ish atmospherics and singer Jimi Goodwin’s longing tales of lonely train rides and missing the sunshine. Kingdom of Rust is wonderfully dolorous, but when Doves rev up the tempos on tracks like “The Outsiders,” they show they’re not a total pity party. Their good cheer isn’t always convincing: “Compulsion” sounds like a bad cover of Blondie’s “Rapture.” But they get bonus points for re-creating the keyboard sound from Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” on “Jetstream.”

Daily Mirror (via, Album Review:

Kingdom Of Rust, 4/5

It has been four years since Doves released an album and while they’ve been away, fellow Mancs Elbow have muscled in on their brand of uplifting melancholy.

But Kingdom Of Rust recaptures and significantly extends the band’s gameplan.

The gloomy but heartfelt title track establishes the record’s mood and musical edge, while the songs that surround it confirm that Doves have not been lying idly by or resting on their laurels.

The bristling and urgent 10:03 strengthens their grip on widescreen rock with a train ride into the murky recesses of the soul, while Birds Flew Backwards unfurls its forlorn, string-laden sorrow with style and substance to spare.

There’s clamour and spooky sound effects woven into the furious hard rock of House Of Mirrors.

Psychedelia from the dark side of town, it’s a song where doubt and dissolving identity are common bedfellows.

Kingdom Of Rust maps out foreboding and fearsome territory, but even in the album’s most punishing moments (Lifelines) the trio find a way to fly free.

New Interview Video At has today posted a new interview video with Jimi and Andy.

Doves have revealed that the making of their new album was almost like “therapy”.

The group, who release their fourth album ‘Kingdom Of Rust’ today (April 6), said it helped them get through some dark times.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM lead singer Jimi Goodwin said: “Going to work was helpful and therapy sometimes to get through some not so good times in some of our lives.”

The band also admitted writing tracks for the record wasn’t always easy.

Goodwin admitted: “This one [album] just took a bit longer to understand what we were trying to achieve after being in a band together for 18, 19 years.”

He continued: “I mean none of us have fallen out, we still get on really well it’s just we just had to make sure the chemistry was still there between us, and it was, but it just took a bit of prising out and wrestling with a bit more this time.”

To view the interview, click here.

Incidentally, NME TV’s Weekly Agenda feature advises its viewers to purchase the album – and the hosts state that they will have live footage of Doves on soon. You can view the video by visiting this link.

Archive: Jimi & Jez On MTV Two’s Gonzo

Jimi & Jez appeared last week on MTV Two’s U.K. Gonzo show. Their appearance was originally scheduled for the prior week, so apologies for the previous misinformation.

Doves on MTV Two's Gonzo show

Click here to download a video of their appearance; chatting about their work-ethic and trying to decipher anagrams of their song titles. WARNING: Contains Zane Lowe.

The video is an Xvid-encoded MPEG4 AVI file which should be standalone-compatible with most new DVD or AV players which are equipped to play DivX files.

Review Round-Up #5

More reviews of the album and single are still filtering through – and with the odd exceptions, they’re overwhelmingly positive…

Scotland On Sunday (via, Album Review:

Thrillingly propelled by Jimi Goodwin’s turbine engine of a bass guitar, the three cool Cheshire cats float above the industrial grime of the English north-east sprinkling a little glamour on their customary grit. ‘House Of Mirrors’ dazzles with a driving beat decorated by spaghetti western instrumental flourishes, and a chorus that will lift the roof off arenas.

“North-East”?… :o)

To read the full review, click here.

Halesowen News, Single Review:

Halesowen News

Doves – Kingdom Of Rust: To soften the blow of leaving us in the lurch for four years, Doves have done the decent thing and returned with an absolute stormer. We’ve heard the album, and this isn’t even the best song on it.

The Independent On Sunday, Album Review:

The Independent

Doves –the band with added moisturiser –are looking to “do an Elbow” this year. In other words, a middle-ranking, fondly regarded but fundamentally unsexy band making an unexpected late-career leap into the big time.

But Jimi Goodwin is no Guy Garvey, vocally or lyrically, and if Kingdom of Rust –which alternates between freewheeling country rock and portentous indie prog –is the record that does it, that’s purely down to timing. (The Last Broadcast was a worthier candidate.)

Download this: ‘Compulsion’: OCD, as easy as 1-2-3

The Sunday Times (via Times, Album Review:


Four years on from their most recent album, Some Cities, the Manchester trio return. Everything you expect from a Doves record is here; and that, in a sense, is the problem. Of signs of development and advance, there are frustratingly few. The sonic subtlety that has always vied for supremacy with the band’s big-picture, prog-like tendencies is present and correct: sections of tracks such as Jetstream, 10.03 and Birds Flew Backwards contain huge open spaces in which tiny interjections make a mighty impact. Compulsion, meanwhile, nods to both Blondie’s Rapture and the band’s own dance roots. More typical of a strangely moribund album, however, are Winter Hill and The Greatest Denier, where their defaults of heavy sound blankets and rhythmic doggedness begin to seem not only oppressive, but dull.

Review Round-Up #4

A couple more reviews of the album, which you may have missed over the last few days…

Contact, Album Review:


Let’s be clear from the outset – this is a brilliant record. The best Doves record yet, binding the best elements of their past into a complete statement that insists upon something new and inspiring. ‘Kingdom of Rust’ mixes the bedsit misery that provided the palette for Doves debut with the spacy, anthemic feel of ‘The Last Broadcast’, and builds upon the maturity of ‘Some Cities’, finally signalling the culmination of Doves’ sound with crashing authority. Weaving in, out and through different genres and sonic templates with alarming expertise, Doves effortlessly absorb prog, folk, funk, rock, psychedelia and even hip hop into their armoury in way that cements the record as something special, and exposes other recent indie explorations, especially those involving a conspicuous-but-tenuous link to afrobeat and funk, as clear frauds.

To read the full review, click here. p.s… I think they like it!

Digital Spy, Album Review:

Digital Spy

Album closer ‘Lifeline’ is Doves’ finest achievement to date – heart-breaking, euphoric and humongous are just a few adjectives that spring to mind. “Somebody’s giving in, but I’m not,” howls Goodwin during the crescendo, managing to sound both forlorn and defiant in the same hearty growl.

To read the full review, click here.

Review Round-Up #3

More reviews of both the single and album, which you may have missed over the last few days…

Sunday, Album Review:


WITH three equally impressive, idiosyncratic albums to their name already, the right fourth album could assure Doves’ rightful place as one of our most consistently exciting bands. Kingdom Of Rust explores a layered, adventurous terrain, with nods to Kraftwerk and funk in various places, thanks to Jimi Goodwin’s unique howl and a Sub Sub-esque groove. Opener Jetstream and the title track will be known to fans already, but it’s perhaps Winter Hill, 10.03, arranged by Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands and anthemic closer Lifelines that typify Kingdom Of Rust best, bustling with ambition.

Music Week (via California, Single Review:

Music Week

For a band who concentrate their attentions so much on texture and atmosphere, Doves have a canny knack of delivering a killer pop song to kick-start an album’s campaign. As with previous singles There Goes The Fear and Black And White Town, Kingdom Of Rust sounds like nothing else at the moment; a soft-focus jangly gem seemingly plucked from a Morricone-scored Western. Radio loves the track, with BBC, Absolute and Xfm stations showing support. Meanwhile, the band are midway through an extensive campaign of airplay sessions and are attracting interest from Channel Four, E4, Sky and a wealth of national press.

Daily Record, Single Review:

Daily Record

Doves – Kingdom Of Rust *** It’s been four years since Doves had their biggest hit Black And White Town. Since then, fellow northern English sadsacks Elbow have achieved crossover success. Let’s hope this jaunty Chris Rea-sounding upbeat tune helps the trio.