Kingsley Flood are the best Boston band not to be from England. Sorry. Inside joke. In all seriousness, though, Kingsley Flood make honest, American music that occupies the vast (and well trodden) path between Wilco’s early work and Joe Strummer’s later work. It’s Americana with a classic rock feel, in other words. Strong lyrics, great guitar lines, an amazing rythym section, and vocals that would be at home in any bar where working-class people rest on payday Friday.
Vocalist Naseem Khuri knows when to pull it out big and when to go quiet, and the band behind him, well, they’re some of the most talented rock and rollers around. Bassist Nick Balkin, who owes me a copy of Howard the Duck #1, has a creeping bounce that makes his lines a joy to hear. Check out album closer “Midnight Ride” and you’ll hear what I mean. Together with trumpeter Chris Barrett, you’ll believe you’re on a horse. Even if the song is about a Cadillac. Drummer Will Davies is another true “band member.” By this I mean he is content to be a part of a greater whole, only occassionally pulling out in front when the music is just too damn inviting to sit in the back. Rounding out the band is guitarist George Hall–a leader and a follower all at once–and fiddler Jenée Morgan, who is the first person you hear on the album’s opening track, the jaunty “Back in the Back.”
The band never departs from its rootsy sound, but it does get wild. “Cul de Sac” is almost an experiment with indie rock–there’s a pop chorus and a big band sound–but the fiddle and plucky banjo keeps it in line. I’d say it’s a single, but so many songs on the album could fit that bill. And moreover, what radio stations bother to play this kind of interesting music anymore?
This album is fantastic, truly. Thanks to Ryan for pointing them my way. I hope that being on my humble site helps you guys sell out shows and moves some mp3s for you. Because you deserve to be heard, and we, the fans of indie rock and truly independent music, deserve to hear you.
For fans of: Gaslight Anthem, Calexico, and great music.