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The Future Kings Of England - Who Is This Who Is Coming? CD (album) cover

WHO IS THIS WHO IS COMING?

The Future Kings Of England

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.84 | 59 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars This is really more of a soundtrack to the chilling short story by M.R. James called "Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You Lad." The music matches up amazingly well with the story, progressively getting scarier with each song. The band has diverged quite a bit from the Post Rock/Math Rock/Psychedelia of a few years ago.

1. "Journey to the Coast" (2:04). The arrival in the bucolic East Anglia beachside town is well represented with this folksy mandolin-based tune. There is even a track in the song dedicated to songbirds sounds! Feels like a place that I'd like to visit! (8/10)

2. "The Globe Inn" (4:26). Organ, simple drums and notes slowly picked on a guitar are superceded in the B section by eerie synths and voices. Decending guitar scales and reversed guitar and organ enter for a kind of C coda before the B part returns. Very BLIND FAITH-like. A lull at 2:14 allows the eery bass line to present, alone, before the band returns with a doubled-up lead bottle-neck guitar solo in the vein of ERIC CLAPTON or even GEORGE HARRISON takes over. Then, out of the blue, at 3:18, a very cool, very powerful and fully CAMEL-like 'controlled' crescendo section takes over till end of song. (9/10)

3. "Finding the Whistle" (2:01) is a lot like a GENESIS interlude song from The Lamb. (9/10)

4. "Watcher Part 1" (1:56) sounds as if ROY ORBISON, FLEET FOXES, GREEN LINNETT RECORDS, and MIKE OLDFIELD all collaborated. Very cool song. (10/10)

5. "Who Is This Who Is Coming?" (9:09) opens with very odd bending synth notes, joined by sustained fuzzy guitar notes. It has a bit of an Ambient ENO feel to it for the first two minutes. Add horn-like and girl-screaming synth notes until at 2:57 an non-English-sounding male voice says something which ushers in a new eery theme of music--though it's really more like a scary movie soundtrack, complete with samples of clock ticking and someone's boots trampsing through tall grass. At 5:34 a slow synthesizer section begins--using sounds like TANGERINE DREAM. Long-held acoustic guitar strums and more synthesizer play join in. Eery and synth mastery. (8/10)

6. "Convinced Disbeliever" (3:59) begins with the alarm of a windup clock. Guitar power chords and drumming sounding like IRON BUTTERFLY or BLACK SABBATH enter. Cheesy switch at 0:58 to B part. The music is rather "B movie"-ish. At least until the all-too-brief, but wonderful OLDFIELD-like guitar solo at the 1:38 mark. Return of cheesy two-chord rock theme. Give it lyrics and it would fit right onto an early 1970s SABBATH/BUTTERFLY/or even GRAND FUNK album. I guess it works. I'm smiling, though I might be cringing. (7/10)

7. "Watcher Part 2" (1:59) begins like a ELP song, GREG LAKE sing while being harmonized by another GREG LAKE-like b vocalist. Very nicely done. Could be a TRAFFIC or STRAWBS tune, too. (9/10)

8. "A Face of Crumpled Linen" (10:17) begins with the recorded sound of wind buckling at the windows and doors. Guitar, bass, and synth introduce a theme which is then taken over by a different keyboard sound. Cymbol play begins and then full drum play as bass and guitar play establish quite a nice groove over which portamento synth plays. Additional guitar and tracks (two that I count) enter, one strumming a partially muted strum, the other playing a distorted, untuned lead. By 4:30 all instruments have faded away leaving an organ-sounding synth slowly forming odd diatonic chords by moving an upper note against an unchanging mid-keyboard note. At 6:20 full band returns in a kind of TANGERINE DREAM/PINK FLOYD style. (The instruments are all recorded in quite a raw, under- processed and not-necessarily cohesive way.) Things quiet down again briefly before letting an electric guitar arpeggio take over the base rhythm. Drum and synth play build before horns and the full band comes crashing in for a kick ass groove--but only for the final minute. Then the groove--and the song-- end quite suddenly! (9/10)

9. "Spectacle of a Scarecrow" (5:54) begins with an electric guitar establishing a chord progression with arpeggios. When the full band joins in it is with a fury that quite reminds me of CRAIG SAFAN's ripping "Confrontation" from TANGERINE DREAM's soundtrack of Michael Mann's 1981 movie, Thief. (9/10)

While the music here is sometimes not so proggy, more soundtrack-like, and often reaches back to styles and sounds (even production value) of the early 1970s, it is a really admirable rendering of a story to music. One to experience, say, alone in a shack on a stormy night. One of the few albums I've heard that is actually better without headphones.

4.5 stars; a near masterpiece.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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