Hmmm, not sure about the title for this series. I like the fact the initials spell Hy Giy (Hi Guy for all you slow folk) but I just don’t know. Wouldn’t mind if someone came on and said it sucks, then I could go back to the drawing board and dream it all up again.
Anyways, this series is similar to the Tickets There Likes one except it will focus solely on a handful of Irish albums we consider to be the best in the new millennium. First up is The Future Kings of Spain’s second output, Nervousystem. Now, personally I consider the Future Kings of Spain Irelands best act on the go at the moment. Closely followed by Jape, Humanzi, The Aftermath and Concerto for Constantine. I know I’ve made no secret of this but hey, if you want diversity and underground bla, bla, ego, go check out Una Rocks or Niallier9, plenty of pretention and nonsense over there to keep you occupied for the rest of your life. Anyways, enough bitching about other music blogs. They get a lot more hits and mentions than Tickets There so they must be doing something right.
So back to the Kings. Well, their debut came out in 2003 and it was great. Then they had record label issues which was shit. Then they nearly broke up which was even more shit. Finally they managed to pull things together, work out their issues and release their second album in 2007. Was it worth the four year wait? You’re damn right it was and I encourage any of you who bought album two years ago to take it of your shelf and give it another listen because it’s not a record that should be forgotten.
Kicking things of is Guess Again. Not a bad song, good riff but Tickets There got a little sick of this track a long time ago. One More Mistake is next and it’s easily the closest thing to a grunge classic any Irish band I’ve heard has ever managed (except Ash’s A Life Less Ordinary which is, I’ll happily admit, a better tune). Vocals and guitars are nice and dirty during the verse and the constant bridges, breaks and extras all combine nicely in the ear drum shattering chorus. Joey Wilson has a savage voice that’s both believable and reckless. I don’t like the very start of This Is the End but the song has a great overall feeling, nice anthem kind of tune. Lost and Found is a real smooth, atmospheric number with some lovely melodies, harmonies and changes. There’s a real air of restraint during the first part and you’re just waiting for the song to explode into its full form. Syndicate is has much the same feeling as Lost and Found except it’s on a much grander scale. Without a doubt the Kings flagship masterpiece. Simple, complex, light, heavy…everything really and a great video to accompany it. At nearly eight minutes in length, it’s astonishing the band manage to keep the song as interesting and evolving as it is. Each verse and bridge brings something new into the fold and every chorus whips them all together to deliver the classic FKOS hard hitting style in as much force and energy as anything else out there.
Kick in the Teeth is another good, simple track. Slow, heavy and beating is the best thing I can say about it…in a good way. Another classic pops up next in the form of You Dream in Solid Gold. The Kings talent for writing this kind of track is unparalleled in this country and it’s a style that really can be attributed to them. Nineteen Eighty One brings more guitars and pounding drums back into the fold as melodic lead’s hover in the background behind one of the albums best chorus lines and a good heavy riff. Chemical Burn is one of the actual ‘album tracks’ on Nervousystem. Very simple and catchy but nothing too classic here except a great chorus. This Song is one of the slowest the band have ever done and sounds a little like something the Foo Fighters could come up with. In saying that, The Foo Fighters didn’t and the FKOS did so it’s there’s. Very moody and grungy and a nice penultimate number before I Disappear comes raging in to show Nervousystem isn’t one bit short of great tracks.
Overall a great album (that’s why I’m writing about it). If you want to hear a great Irish band playing great music, you could do a hell of a lot worse than the FKOS. Readi ng over this piece, I’m not entirely happy with it so I’m not sure how many more I’ll do. Thankfully, Tickets There isn’t one to waste over 800 words so this one’s going up anyways.
All the best, Tickets There