The King and The Thief – Castles
Stream – ‘Glow in the dark’
Sometimes the world seems so small that there’s barely some chance for innovation or new
proposals, but let’s still believe (call it an act of faith, maybe) that there’s more to life than this.
Fortunately, there’s still one thing or more that could really save the day, and go into our ears: I just had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of The King and the Thief’s music, and that seriously meant a smile upon my face.
The piece chosen for this review is the 2010 Castles EP, which includes 4 tracks and manages to display a new idea, structure and proposal between each one and all based on the basic setup expected from a band, with some guitar distortions included.
There’s certain preference for prog riffs and vocals that grant an interesting twist to the work of this band. I could think of reverb as used in the 70’s, late 60’s; however, I could not think of these resources as a ‘homage’ to those times but as a piece of the complex puzzle in this EP, where the best example for this is track 1, ‘Sweet-Dee’. This track really knows how to glide and lead the listener into a complex maze of reverbing guitar riffs and vocals, as the feeling of being inside a dark, old and big room.
The echo-ish sensation continues in the following track, ‘Glow in the Dark’, where the highlight becomes the chorus: two voices and 4/4 black-note rock riff (one of my favorites).
Voice is still reverbing like pounding distant thoughts, and the pounding feeling comes from
drums that somewhat managed to get into the echoing sound of the composition. There are also some twists in the song that would include an extra element with guitar and drums in decreased pace, an interesting mix in the fashion of prog, yet endowed with a strong personal note.
After this exploration of sounds based on conventions and having a nice music trip with it, there comes ‘Castles’, which goes directly to the ‘conventional’ side. This third track could be easily classified as a Pop tune, but again this would be the top of the iceberg only. The things that insinuate the deep search for new elements comes again in the shape of twists, like choosing changes done in 4/4 instead of 3/4. I really loved the tambourine, properly used as the baseline to develop the whole idea.
This magic comes in a very short presentation, that is, as a 4 track EP that keeps us wanting for more. I get this idea as I’m reaching the last track, ‘Built from Blood’, which is just brilliant and strong when it comes to lyrics, all referencing an historical context. This is again another sample of how multiple ideas can shape through music, as guitar solos are just heartfelt, every note would tear a feeling away and would wake our interest into the music only, as it mirrors what has been said in words. The vocals in this track deserve another round of applause.
I really think the only flaw I found in this EP is the number of songs. Of course we need more from this band! The idea of this EP is fully conveyed, there’s no feeling that there are more songs needed to complete the sentence in this EP, it’s just that the band is great, their setup is genius and their music composition skills are way out of this world, no strings attached again.
There’s more than meets the eye, it all depends on how you use your raw materials, and this band really means the utmost from their resources.