Kingsway & Counterrevolutionaries “Brand New Golden Oldies” (DDG Records 2006)
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The opener ‘Joke Shop’ is a wonderfully sloppy piece of rock: triangulate Steve Westfield, Dinosaur Jr and Neil Young and you find RC Joseph, the man behind this behemoth, sounding like an even lazier J Mascis getting caught up in the sludge of his own guitar noise - no room for a solo, so mellowed out he lets the horns take the lead.
Don’t expect any pristine crisp pop. Oh, it’s there, buried under layers of guitar mucous. ‘Night Terrors’ could be a sparking Shins like experience - it isn’t, it sticks a bit harder, gluey but no less loveable. Nods to Mascis on ‘Whopper Jr’ a song that simmers with repressed noise, stoned out vocals and subject held together with the duct tape of poetry. A muted trumpet threads melancholy through ‘Batista’s Lullably’.
When RC wants to let the guitar speak fluently, it does so in tongues. ‘RC’s Beliefs’ seem to include making the guitar whisper echoes of classic rock in your ear whilst showing up all those stoner folk bands for the bearded earnest anthropological intellectuals that they are. Exhibit 2, ‘Alaska’ features nearly 8 minutes of howling rain on the side of a black mountain. I think it was him who set the comet on fire. Best of all he starts slowly, vocals are raw with little acquaintance to the melody, smouldering guitar interplay and where you expect the detonation, instead there's a caress.
The struggle for coherence and understanding comes over strongly and if you need any proof of the Americana credentials, seek out ‘Dirt’ - using banjo and acoustic guitar it reminds me of fellow Canadians Sackville. Even if it might be something of an acquired taste there is definitely something compelling about this music.
Date review added: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Reviewer: David Cowling
Related web link: The label