Surviving the Golden Age is excited to break Boston area sextet Kingsley Flood‘s latest full length release, Battles. The group’s objective is simple: the over-throw of the American rock market utilizing a potent arsenal of sonic weaponry. As Mike Myers would have noted, Battles isn’t just a clever name.
Wordplay aside, its hard not to hype this album. The first introductory listen to the American gothic opening track, “Don’t Change My Mind” with its blood and guts minor key tooling and the ominous presence of a sinister piano choral line delivered over a subdued feedback howling, one becomes momentarily distracted from the achingly poetic if not outright haunting lyrics. It’s a fitting intro to the album as a whole, one which manages to fulfill the narrow vision of rock’s homogenous genre requirements while simultaneously offering the listener an abundance of musical landscapes.
From the Franco-pop single, “Sun Gonna Lemme Shine” to the soft let down lullaby of album closer “This Will Not Be Easy,” Battles spoils the listener for choice. It seems there’s little Kingsley Flood cannot do and by that I mean there’s little they cannot do well. For every festival pleasing stadium anthem “The Fire Inside,” there’s an equal and opposite offering of intimacy, “Sigh A While.” For every raucous dancing-like-an-epiletic buzz number “Strongman” or “Down,” there’s a poetic, romantic correlative, “Waiting on the River to Rise.”
Battles is pure excitement, none the least due to the unsigned nature of Kingsley Flood. While most indie-rock these days is a razor thin cut above the lamentable genre of soft rock from the days of yore, a frighteningly ignorant, dark period known as the eighties, Kingsley Flood stays well above and ahead of the hipper than thou political mire of the ‘scene.’ Battles is accessible, articulate and most bizarre for these days, quite fun to listen to. For all them strung out big city hipsters asking whether art is supposed to be enjoyable, scream in your best Dean Moriarty “Yes Yes Yes!” right in their impudent ironic faces and point them to Kingsley Flood’s Battles. The argument ends here.