Doves storm to the top of the pile. Absolutely brilliant.
Ian Wade 2009-03-25
Doves first came to attention in 2000 with the release of their magnificent debut album Lost Souls. Actually that's not quite the case, they originally were Sub Sub some centuries ago (ie: early 90s) and had their moment in the rave-up. The
Mancunian trio of Jimi Goodwin and brothers Jez and Andy Williams have spent the last decade becoming one of the best bands in the country with some of the finest tunes – The Cedar Room, Catch The Sun, There Goes The Fear, Black & White Town – that most people would exchange careers for. On this, their fourth album, the sound you can hear in the distance is the noise of lesser bands giving up.
Kingdom Of Rust is possibly Doves' finest moment yet in a catalogue full of magic. The title track is a cascading western shuffle that brings to mind cowboys riding across the Pennines. Opening track Jetstream welds Kraftwerk touches to its sheer, futurist sheen and suggests that the four years since the last album have been spent wisely. Birds Fly Backwards is almost Wally Stott arranging the Beach Boys.
Compulsion sexily slinks along in a wonky Blondie's Rapture kinda way, while House Of Mirrors shatters along like some unearthed gem from Joe Meek's record box. The expansive moogin' and krautrock touches on The Outsiders even suggests a Lancashire Secret Machines.
If the long deserved success of Elbow has given you a taste for unshaven Mancunians who specialise in life affirming and uplifting wonder, then Doves are your boys.
Admittedly, they've already been reasonably successful, what with their last two albums The Last Broadcast and Some Cities being chart-toppers and such, but as a wider whistled-by-the-milkman concern, Kingdom Of Rust may just increase their fanbase significantly. Why can't more bands make this kind of effort? Widescreen, windswept and grittily euphoric – well now, no one's said that about Oasis lately have they? In a year that's fast becoming a vintage one for albums, Doves storm to the top of the pile. Absolutely brilliant.