Alternative music reviews

The Future Kings Of Spain

Hanging Around Nov 2003

My thoughts have crystallised since reviewing the Future Kings of Spain's debut album. Hanging Around was one of my favourite songs like the Lemonheads playing the GoBetweens and it sounds really good as a single in a melodic-Indie way. It's full of longing and romantic touches. But it is a complete contrast to the third song Hedwig And The Angry Inch when the Kings go back to hardcore roots. On the album A Place For Everything (their debut single) was just so out of place being an angry blast completely out of character with the rest of the songs. Hedwig shows that they can just turn on this wonderful shouting when they choose to. I don't mean this as a barbed comment, but I wish The Future Kings of Spain would just turn the amps up to 11 and shout at me all the time. The Future Kings of Spain are two bands, both good but one makes my blood flow a bit faster than the other.

The Future Kings Of Spain July 2003

This is the debut album from Dublin band Future Kings of Spain. Following on from the critical acclaim of their singles, they have produced an album that extends their range into the arena of Emo and the lure of the Stadium beckons. A great rock n roll voice conveys love, disappointment, and anger over classic three piece instrumentation.

What a way to start the album: A Place For Everything bristles with energy with hardcore screaming and growling and guitar tuned to attack mode. More, more, more, I scream.From then on they turn into a much more melodic outfit with Your Starlight and Venetian Blinds - kind of soft and punky but very much more mainstream. Hanging Around is like the Lemonheads at their best. So Wrong steps back into a more punky post-grunge area and this is continued by Face I Know with it's powerful guitar and almost nu-metal chorus.. Upside Down finishes the album and is a haunting melodic song, unashamedly soppy but builds up to an uplifting finish.

I have one big problem with this album and that is that I desperately want to hear a full album of tracks with the same anger and enthusiasm as the first track A Place For Everything. It has taken me at least five listens to come to terms with the other tracks and realise that The Future Kings Of Spain are a classic rock band with Indie leanings. I came name eight bands that I can hear elements of (Nirvana, U2, Lemonheads, Go-Betweens, Dinosaur Jr, Nickelback, Son Volt, Scud Mountain Boys) - what better combination could you want? The only thing left out is true originality. Every alternative music fan will find something to admire with this accomplished band. I can't help the feeling that they will soon find themselves in America and be lost to these shores for ever. All the nu-punk and nu-metal pretenders will shrink before the power and majesty of The Future Kings of Spain.


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