PopMatters: On the Sixth Day God Created Man…chester

An interesting, if at times a bit rambly article about Doves & Elbow’s impact on the modern day music scene. Plenty Doves/Elbow clichés in there, but I think the article accomplishes what it set out to do. Its good look at both band’s impact on music this decade, whilst most writers focus their end of decade articles on the likes of Coldplay.

Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.

this is not your father’s prog rock, as the moody sound-scapes of Elbow and Doves are infiltrated by the pulses of modernity, too, ambient techno rhythms often providing the backdrops for the more traditional instrumentation, particularly in Doves’ works. Radiohead are the common denominator inspiration here, but the acid house beats that the Madchester scene imported from Detroit and Chicago are equally omnipresent, while Manchester’s northern soul tradition—rooted in the beats of Motown—can also be heard, if, perhaps, by way of the precedential forays of the Stone Roses. For all the broad-ranging influences and deep musical roots at the heart of Elbow and Doves, a notably Manchester sound still emanates from them in the final product. As the NME opined when reviewing Doves’ house-inspired debut album, Lost Souls (2000), “above all you hear a time and place” in the songs. (“Lost Souls” 31 March 2000)

Equally adept at capturing personal circumstances via topographical settings are Doves. Album titles like Some Cities (2005) and Kingdom of Rust (2009) establish their urban milieu, while nature-bound titles like “Winter Hill” and “Bird Flew Backwards” (both from Kingdom of Rust) suggest alternative desires to escape the city-scapes. Like Elbow, Doves use sounds and words as visual devices, as sparks for our imaginations to cross sensory lines. And as befits bands hailing from the city that provided the first passenger railway service, travel—particularly by trains—provides metaphors for themes of movement, unrest, escapism, and life journeys. Doves’ equivalent to Elbow’s “Station Approach” is “10.03″ (2009), a conventional riding-the-rails blues melody set against a techno-modern rhythmic backdrop, while an earlier song, “M62″ (2002), had the band surveying urban topography from the context of a North-West motorway; indeed, they even recorded the song under one of its overpasses.

Reflective of their techno roots, Doves experience Manchester in fast-forward mode, with a rhythmic momentum of and about movement, speed, and change. Some Cities recognize the transformations that cities like Manchester have gone through in recent decades, the progressions weighed against the inevitable loss of tradition, the commercial vibrancy against the erasure of character and distinction. “Home feels like a place I’ve never been,” reflects Jimi Goodwin on “House of Mirrors” (2009).

To read the full thing, click here.

Birmingham Review & Popmatters Interview

Thanks to LDC at doves board for pointing out this Birmingham review.

Tracks from the new album also got a good reaction probably because songs like Winter Hill, The Outsider and title track Kingdon of Rust do sound unmistakably Doves. Which is no bad thing.

To read the full review, click here.

Popmatters spoke to Jimi. Interesting article, if at times inaccurate.

To read the article, click here.

Canada’s Exclaim have wrote a small piece on doves.

Review Round-Up #7

More reviews of Doves’ Kingdom Of Rust album.

Popmatters, Album Review:


While the consistent Some Cities cruised along comfortably, Kingdom of Rust is a bumpier ride, as we hear Doves playing to their strengths one minute, and giving in to their schmaltzy instincts the next. However, for a good half hour we’re hearing what sounds like a rejuvenated band, the three musicians up to their old eclectic mischief, sounding as ambitious as ever. “Jetstream” is inspired, the band’s dance element returning with a vengeance, thrumming synths, pounding kick drum, and flange-enhanced hi-hat beats backing Jez’s coy, detached vocals, and the furious “The Outsiders” rocks harder than the threesome ever has before, the song’s churning, swaggering hard rock at times evoking Swervedriver’s “Last Train to Satansville”. With its wistful mellotron loops, ambient touches, and the simple phrasing by smooth-voiced Goodwin, “Winter Hill” captures a pastoral feeling far better than the last album, while the shifts from rich layers of trilling melodies to the abrupt, tense bassline of the chorus on “The Greatest Denier” is an inspired touch.

To read the full review, click here.

Metro.co.uk, Album Review:


Doves are still shaking a tail feather

Doves must be getting sick of the comparison by now but it’s hard not to wonder if the recent success enjoyed by Elbow could also happen to them.

After all, they’re both scruffy but charming gangs from the North-west who write impassioned, anthemic songs deeply connected to the region and who have been plodding along reliably in the background throughout the last decade.

So is Kingdom Of Rust their Seldom Seen Kid? In some ways, it could be.

What has always made Doves so appealing –the rhythmic undercurrents that betrayed their early days as dance act Sub Sub, the multi-textured songs which slowly reveal themselves –is confidently displayed here on songs such as the searing opener Jetstream or the dizzying Winter Hill.

There are also successful moves outside the band’s comfort zone, such as the throbbing, motorik rhythm that powers The Outsiders or the title track, a shuffling, achingly sad song which paints Lancashire as the dusty setting for a spaghetti western.

However, Kingdom Of Rust doesn’t maintain this early quality, flagging in the centre and exposing the craggier edges of singer Jimi Goodwin’s vocals.

With a cluster of formulaic tracks forming the album’s core, only the surprisingly funky Compulsion and the more forceful House Of Mirrors lift the record again towards its close.

A complex, multi-faceted record, Kingdom Of Rust will certainly appeal to Doves’ existing fans but it lacks the sheer force of personality needed to make everyone else sit up and take note again.

Yorkshire Evening Post, Album Review:

Yorkshire Evening Post

Doves’ epic indie rock mightn’t fall under what we class as “urban” and “industrial” music, but there’s arguably no-one more suited to that description. Their sound conjures up huge rain-lashed cooling towers, crumbling apartment blocks huddled under cumulonimbus-clogged skies, weed-cracked concrete and traffic-clogged sliproads. In these imposing landscapes stand the glum-faced Doves, the beating human heart of these soulless spaces.

Highlights are the Morricone-flavoured title track with its unexpected, uplifting Mike Oldfield-esque melody, the atmospheric Jetstream with its driving Kraftwerkian beats and spacy electronic flourishes, the waking dream of 10:03, and the rousing Compulsion, which mixes a funky bassline with vast sweeps of atmospheric guitar to great effect.

As ever, there’s something highly satisfying and strangely comforting about their sullen pomp, guaranteed to put some drama into a dreary drive over the M62.

Rating 4/5

Cutting Edge, Album Review:

Cutting Edge

‘Jetstream’ is de knaller die ‘Kingdom of rust’ opent. De groep beweert zelf dat het nummer gestoeld is op hun voorliefde voor Vangelis (!). Wij horen enkel de binnenrollende drums zoals wij dat enkel Larry Mullen jr hebben weten doen, in goede doen. De groep boet hier misschien wat in aan melodie, maar pompt zo de wilskracht naar het voorste plan. Ook verder in het album zijn het de drums en de baslijnen die voor de hoogste noot zorgen. Nummers als ‘The outsiders’ en ‘The great denier’ zorgen voor een dynamisch tempo.

To read the full review, click here.