In North America the album will be released on Astralwerks April 6th. Expect to pay in the region of $25 for the special editon in the USA, $30 in Canada. Will post if I hear of a better price elsewhere.
‘Jetstream’ is a powerful, Blade Runner inspired number –taking some twists on the Vangelis futuristic synth/rock sound created for the film and crafting a song cloaked in dark streets, neon signs and ‘silent jets at night’. This seamlessly takes us into the single, and title track, ‘Kingdom Of Rust’. Moving things from a future vision to a hybrid of Sergio Leone westerns and a road trip through the cold north. Accompanied by a most touching and captivating promo video, the sense is that Doves have embraced the cinematic and are attempting to be as widescreen as they can.
A telling moment arrives in “House of Mirrors,” in which vocalist Jimi Goodwin sings of ghostly alleyways and bewildering echoes. The song is an appropriate summary of the entire album’s predicament, for despite the steady hand of producer John Leckie (Radiohead’s The Bends), Rust gets lost in one too many back alleys and side paths, all of which the Doves are too happy to explore.
It’s not necessarily dramatic enough to call it a “return to form,” since Doves are about as consistently pleasing a band as one is likely to find these days, but the fact that they have come back around to more of the lush soundscapes and, yes, occasional nods to their past, certainly works to the benefit of Kingdom of Rust, the band’s fourth studio album. If anything, Kingdom splits the difference between the stripped-back rock of 2005’s Some Cities and the grand, pristine epics of 2000’s classic mopey debut, Lost Souls, and 2002’s more positive and equally brilliant follow-up, The Last Broadcast.
Renowned Chemical Brothers programmer Tom Rowlands lends his recognisable arranging skills to ‘10.03’ a stunning, intimate four minutes, which sits comfortably amongst the more high-octane tracks the album has to offer.
These Brits’ last record came out back in 2005, but the time off hasn’t inspired any tectonic changes. And that’s a blessing: On their fourth album, Doves consistently deliver outsize rock drama, with slight diversions into New Orderâ€“ish electro (“Jetstream”) and hints of garage psych (“House of Mirrors”). Mostly, though, it’s all about the melancholy rafter-reaching, like Coldplay on their darkest day. The title track chugs menacingly before swelling into a sunlit chorus, while “Winter Hill” wrings sweetness from breakup sadness. It’s familiar, sure, but Kingdom of Rust has a welcome warmth.
FOUR years is a long time to take a rest from the music business.
But it’s even longer if your plan is to shuffle back in with a track that almost apologetically asks you to lend it your ears.
It’s a classic Doves ruse, of course: the gently-gently rhythms, timid vocals begging for greater prominence in the mix and a goosebumpy piano sequence are actually all just bobbing around hiding the inevitable crescendo waiting in the wings.
True to form, Kingdom Of Rust finds occasion to throw a few bolder punches as its reaches for a more panoramic prospective with a flurry of strings –a melancholic downpour over the otherwise calm proceedings.
It’s a faithful return, then –perhaps encouraged by Elbow’s phenomenal success, they don’t tinker with the formula.
Which is just the news Doves fans were hoping for.