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The Future Kings Of England - The Future Kings Of England

The Future Kings Of England - The Future Kings Of EnglandThe Future Kings Of England, a.k.a Ian Fitch (guitar, xylophone), Karl Mallet (bass, effect tapes) and Simon Green (drums, percussion) have previously released an EPCD but 2005 sees the release of this, their debut album.

Little did King Edward VII know that part of his abdication speech, broadcast on 11th December 1931, would find its way onto the intro of a space rock/prog album years later, but what an apt way to open this album.

Apart from occasional snippets of unobtrusive spoken word, TFKOE is an instrumental work.  It is spacey/psychedelic in a similar way to early-ish Pink Floyd but also has a strong progressive flavour like some of Mogwai's output or perhaps even Porcupine Tree.

The three 'Kings' added some keyboards courtesy of producer Steve Mann who paints a nice atmospheric background with Mellotron voices.

The music sometimes has an underlying heaviness though not in a frantic sort of way.  Yet there is often a delicate but purposeful semi-acoustic feel in there at the same time.  It is a majestic (pun intended) work of an epic quality.  You only have to hear tracks such as the impressive Silent And Invisible Converts and the 14-minute Pigwhistle to be well and truly hooked. 

The Future Kings Of England have earned their right to the throne.  Long live the Kings. (See below for another review...)

Jem Jedrzejewski

The Future Kings Of England

Backwater Records

 

The following review of The Future Kings Of England is reproduced here by kind permission of Sean of Organart...

I'm forced to write this review for two sets of people: those involved in the underground revitalisation of UK prog in the early Eighties, and those who weren't.  Those of you who discovered this very independent, often rough-and-ready, very word-of-mouth and fanzine driven phenomenon will know that those bands were more than revivalists, that (whether they intended to or not) they imbued their best work with an Eighties' sparseness, a indie-ness that made even the most blatant attempts at being an early Genesis or King Crimson or Pink Floyd into something unique to the times.  OK, so the whole thing died as each band was signed up and sent into proper studios (where they invariably got all embarrassed about their roots, lost the hard edges and strove to sound like Prince or worse). Before the rot set in there existed young bands creating with cheap analogue synths, Mellotrons rescued from cellars, naivety, pure lost Englishness, a DIY ethic and desire to try something outside the ordinary.  Anyway, if you know what I'm talking about, and hanker after it: look no further. Welcome home.

Actually, The Future Kings Of England would have wiped the floor with those Eighties prog bands.  They have absorbed the beautiful sparseness and great sweeping elegance of Godspeed You! Black Emperor in shovels. They improve, if that's the right word, on those bleak and icy GSY!BE landscapes by warming them up and gathering them in. They have mastered the sprawl of that big, big sound and sculpted a little, added more variety, added glorious tunes and delicate guitar, added dreamy bursts of sun breaking through cloud. Feel yourself ascend to the heavens on the Mellotron elevator that is 'Humber Doucy Lane'... so, so good to hear violined guitars, it's been too long...  If you want to know what The Future Kings Of England are all about, listen to 'Silent And Invisible Converts' - Godspeed and Sigur Ros style simple, heartbreak melodies spiralling, marching up into an apocalyptic, whooping, Floydian storm, breaking down into a real Godspeed climax and finishing - god bless 'em, I want to hug the bastards - finishing with the triumphant stabs from 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners'.  Ha! Swivel on that! (No, you'll have to find out who that's by by yourself. This is Blighty, you know. Walls have ears). As for the Pink Floyd element, we're talking early, dark, mesmerising.  But I'm talking too much about what's gone before.  By absorbing beautiful things from the past, and the now, The Future Kings Of England have created a magnum opus as relevant and timeless as Miocene's gobsmacking new album.  Theirs is the pastoral flipside to Miocene's urban opera: the wide open spaces deserve a soundtrack, too.  England belongs to them - the endless fields of Suffolk, probably doomed to the sea in our lifetimes, music made in that strange land outside the cities with its quirks and schitzo weather, its bypass towns and confused disaffection and forgotten heroes. 'The Future Kings Of England' is no fantasy, no space-rock indulgence, no cloying romance.  It's the harsh beauty that exists despite the foul weather, the hope that fine things will prevail over the bland and soulsucking, suggested merely by the sensuous swoop of a guitar and a lump-in-the-throat tune. Itís a bloody masterpiece.  Never was a band more appropriately named.

 

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