Kingdom of Rust
Goes well with: rain, heartbreak, a good buzz
The Manchester Brit-pop trio returns after a four-year hiatus. And while Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Jez and Andy Williams didn’t spend the break dramatically changing their sound, the recently released Kingdom of Rust may be their best album yet.
Doves have always had a knack for churning out finely crafted, melancholy pop tunes alongside crowd-pleasing, anthemic sing-alongs. Their 2000 debut, Lost Souls, showcased the threesome’s seemingly effortless transition from house / dance producers Sub Sub to their current incarnation by implementing a perfect amount of electronic atmospherics into more organic rock tunes. Follow-ups The Last Broadcast and Some Cities cemented the band’s place in the upper echelon of pop pushers and never once dipped into the bowl of soft Coldplay cheese while doing so. Those two records were just less gloomy, which altered the formula slightly.
But Kingdom brings it back from partly cloudy to overcast, and it makes all the difference. From the meandering cool of “Compulsion” to the whip-cracking sharpness of “House of Mirrors,” there’s a nice variety to these storms. Even radio-ready nuggets “10:03″ and “The Outsiders” aren’t totally comfortable in their pop confines and fray at the edges
In The Clubs: Plan B
Doves @ House of Blues. Probably the best British band that you don’t listen to, Doves have released four excellent albums that approximate what Coldplay would sound like if they actually had balls. Plus, these guys have been around forever in one form or another, so they know their way around a melody.