After Hours, Close To Dawn - Kingswood
Album: After Hours, Close To Dawn
Review by Nicole Roberts
Much like many fans, I went into the newest album from Melbourne rockers Kingswood expecting more of their trademark, addictively gritty, blues influenced sound. What I found with After Hours, Close To Dawn was completely different, yet still as deliciously catchy and as fun to listen to as their previous 2014 ARIA nominated album Microscopic Wars.
From the opening chime and piano chords on first track, ‘Looking For Love’, Kingswood have you in the palm of their hand. Almost reminiscent of a ballad straight from the classic rock archives but with its own twist, the boys start off strong. Following up with the moody ‘Creepin’, the album switches gears to a more seductive rock feel, with Fergus Linacre’s crooning voice tempting you to follow the band down the rabbit hole.
If you’re concerned that they may have lost that special, unapologetic ‘oomph’ that used to dominate their sound, fear not. ‘Library Books’ and ‘Like Your Mother’ serve as energy boosters in the album, bringing the vibe back up and delivering to fans their much needed dose of the classic Kingswood sound.
An eclectic mixed bag of influences and sounds, the tracks are so wildly different to each other that they shouldn’t logically work as one cohesive collection, but somehow they do. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that every single song has an intensely catchy hook, or maybe it’s because every track sounds like it could be a lead single for the album. Or maybe it's the presence of those very differences between every track that lends itself to making the album so damn good. Take the track ‘Belle’ and its follow up, ‘Big City’. While ‘Belle’ sounds like the lovechild of a blues track and a Prince song, with a very sensuous and relaxed beat, ‘Big City’ could be happily at home on any good country album, further showing the true versatility this band has in both their song writing skills and their expert musicianship.
All in all, this sophomore album is a brilliant collection of songs which are strong enough to stand on their own, but also work well as a whole album. Considering how many bands choose to stick with a tried and true formula when it comes to their approach to their music, it’s certainly a breath of fresh air that Kingswood have chosen to expand and experiment with their sound. While there may be some people who are resistant to the new direction that they are moving in, as is the case with any change, I’m sure there will be a hell of a lot more who will love it.
4 stars out of 5.
After Hours, Close To Dawn is out now via Dew Process or download on iTunes.
Check out the video for ‘Golden’ here:
Catch Kingswood on their After Hours, Close To Dawn tour at the below dates:
Thu 23 Mar - Sooki Lounge - Belgrave VIC
Fri 24 Mar - 170 Russell - Melbourne VIC
Sat 25 Mar - The Gove - Adelaide SA
Wed 29 Mar - The Cambridge Hotel - Newcastle NSW
Thu 30 Mar - Wollongong Uni - Wollongong NSW
Fri 31 Mar - The Metro - Sydney NSW
Sat 1 Apr - Anu Bar - Canberra ACT
Thu 6 Apr - Miami Marketta - Gold Coast QLD
Fri 7 Apr - The Triffid - Brisbane QLD
Sun 16 Apr - The Torquay Hotel - Torquay VIC
Fri 21 Apr - Discovery - Darwin NT
Thu 27 Apr - Settlers Tavern - Margaret River WA
Fri 28 Apr - The Prince of Wales - Bunbury WA
Sat 29 Apr - The Capitol - Perth WA