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THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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The Future Kings Of England biography
THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND are a UK based trio comprised of Ian Fitch (guitar, keyboards, effects), Karl Mallett (bass, keyboards, effects) and Simon Green (drums, keyboards, effects). They formed with the intention of making "Head Music" with nods to "Ummagumma" period "PINK FLOYD, VDGG, the "Kraut Rock" greats like "ASH RA TEMPEL" and "TANGERINE DREAM" with a dash of "GY!BE" and "MOGWAI" for good measure.

They're not attempting to rekindle the past, they're just carrying on the grand tradition of style and scale that these bands produced.

: : : Simon Green, UNITED KINGDOME : : :

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THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 94 ratings
The Future Kings Of England
2005
3.93 | 47 ratings
The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis
2007
3.94 | 51 ratings
The Viewing Point
2009
3.78 | 43 ratings
Who Is This Who Is Coming?
2011

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3.98 | 4 ratings
The Future Kings Of England
2003

THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Future Kings Of England by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.17 | 94 ratings

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The Future Kings Of England
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If through the first few listens you're thinking the debut of Future Kings of England is a miscast post-rock album, give it time. The psychedelic influence is quite apparent, particularly in the abundance of mellotrons and spacey sounding guitars. Yet the trademark military sounding post- rock drums come into the fore often, notably on ''Lilly Lockwood''.

The prevailing mood of the album is actually heavy and intense (not in metal terms), layered with phantasmagoric mellotron washes, thick drumming, searing guitar lines, and the occasional sound bite for whatever reason. The album is also cluttered with long songs, so this isn't a quick listen despite the run time missing one hour. Actually, I find that a flaw with FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND; while there are great ideas in the psych pieces, the songs feel about as their run times suggest. Granted, there's no grand epic of sorts, and ''Pigwhistle'' has a Porcupine Tree-esque beginning, but sometimes it doesn't help that it feels a bit long in the tooth.

Even so, the Future Kings of England have established a sound identity with tracks like ''10:66'' and ''Silent and Invisible Converts''. This is music for both fans of psychedelic rock and post rock as the merger of the two styles is remarkably credible.

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 Who Is This Who Is Coming? by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.78 | 43 ratings

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Who Is This Who Is Coming?
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by 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.

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 Who Is This Who Is Coming? by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.78 | 43 ratings

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Who Is This Who Is Coming?
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND was, until a few years ago, one of British rock's hidden secrets. But following three well received full length productions a greater variety of people have become aware of their endeavors, and when their fourth disc "Who Is This Who Is Coming" was released towards the end of 2011 it was a CD many had eagerly been awaiting.

70's oriented progressive rock is what The Future Kings of England are masters of, lightly flavoring the proceedings with psychedelic and post rock details, frequently inserting subtle details or distinct sequences of a pastoral nature and liberally flavoring the end result with Mellotron and vintage sounding keyboards. Those who know about the band from previous occasions can safely purchase this latest disc; those unfamiliar with the band are advised to check them out, at least if some of the descriptions given sound enticing.

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 The Viewing Point by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.94 | 51 ratings

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The Viewing Point
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This 2009 album was the third from the Suffolk instrumental outfit, featuring Ian Fitch (guitars), Karl Mallett (bass), Simon Green (drums) and producer Steve Mann (also keys). This album is one that is as rooted in psychedelic and space rock sounds as it is in progressive yet is so damn well played that anyone who likes even one of these genres will need to hear this. There are times when the mellotron is lush and gentle, with delicate piano set against it yet there are others when the guitars are dominating proceedings with ease. This is a band that can be gentle and reflective, or coarse and hard ? often all in the same song. It really does bring to mind some of the styles of prog that was coming out of Germany in the early Seventies with Amon Düül II being definitely front of mind.

This is music that definitely belongs to thirty years ago, but somehow is still invigorating and dynamic today ? a joy to listen to from start to end. www.backwaterrecords.com

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 Who Is This Who Is Coming? by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.78 | 43 ratings

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Who Is This Who Is Coming?
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I think what sets this album apart from their previous releases is how haunting this can get. It's based on the chilling short story by M.R. James called "Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You Lad". Simon the drummer states that the music here taps into a person's primoridal fear, especially the title track.

"Journey To The Coast" has this light wimsical melody as the birds sing away. Yes we are driving to the coast. A train comes rushing by making a powerful sound as it drowns out all other noises. "The Globe Inn" has a Post-Rock vibe as the guitar is picked and drums beat. Laid back vocals follow. An early FLOYD-like soundscape takes over before 3 minutes and the organ joins in. "Finding The Whistle" builds in sound with acoustic guitar leading the way with a repetitive melody. It fades out and we can hear somone walking and the sounds of waves. "Watcher Part 1" is a short, relaxed vocal track.

"Who Is This Who Is Coming ?" has these deep spacey sounds that echo. We get a change 3 minutes in with dramatic piano, mellotron and more. Lots of atmosphere. We can hear someone walking as the haunting atmosphere continues. It sounds like mellotron choirs before an alarm bell goes off to end it. "Convinced Disbeliever" is a fairly heavy track with lots of drums. There is contrasting mellotron and atmosphere. "Watcher Part 2" has reserved vocals as distorted organ along with drums play in the background. It turns lighter with acoustic guitar late. "A Face Of Crumpled Linen" opens with the wind blowing as guitar and more build. Drums 2 minutes in but it does settle back before kicking in again late. "Spectacle Of A Scarecrow" has Post-Rock styled guitar and it turns dreamy late with strange sounds too.

I do prefer this over their previous album but I still consider the debut to be their high water mark. On the other hand I would say that all of their records are worth getting.

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 The Future Kings Of England by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.17 | 94 ratings

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The Future Kings Of England
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars A very good Post Rock album that ranks right up with the best I've heard from this sub-genre . . . but can't quite earn a 5 star "masterpiece" rating cuz of the fact that the boys stick fairly closely to the standard format?with very few real innovations other than sounds and multiple guitar layers on "October Moth."

Oops! this isn't Post rock?!!

Oh well. Favorites:

"10:66" (8/10) opens with a Frippertronic/"infinite guitar" note (kind of like Fripp did on Sylvian's "Wave") and is then joined by the full band. A mysterious interlude spoken vocal is in a Slavic language?which all but negates its effectiveness but is followed by guitar arpeggios from the opening section and background violin noodling. The song crescendos in a rather violent almost punk- like sound with 'hoodlum' type voices running off in the background.

"Humber Doucy Lane" (7/10)opens with some very old-style "Rising Sun" electric guitar arpeggios with full ANIMALS sound in the accompanying band?at least, that is, until the 3:40 mark when there is a shift to some slow chord strums tying a different set of arpeggios together. Then at 4:45 we're suddenly thrown onto some reverbe/echo guitar picking on the playgrounds from the end of Pat & Lyle's "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls." Obviously the lane referred to in the song title means something to these blokes. Mellotron and bells play out in a French film score way to end.

"Silent and Invisible Converts" (8/10) stars with some pretty straightforward rock'n'roll descending electric guitar chords?which then transform into the same chords being arpeggios with 'flute' accompaniment. Until 1:40 when a new set of three chords are again ominously strummed as bass and cymbols keep exact time (almost Who-like!) The tempo picks up, slowly building, faster and faster, until some very crazed space guitar effects and "ahh's" join and accompany the band to about 5:40 when most instruments cut out leaving only the screaming space guitar and rolling bass?then for a minute just bass before some U2/EDGE- like guitar chords scream out over an old organ?to a Who ending!

"October Moth" (9/10) is a much more laid-back floating-type of song?acoustic guitars picking in both the left and right channels while distorted and space guitars also play. Very unusual and cool song.

"Lilly Lockwood" (8/10) is an eery song that reminds me of a melange between THE BEATLES at their most eery and U2's first two album guitar sounds and GENESIS' "The Waiting Room." (What a combo!)

This is also my favorite album overall from TFKoE--though I very much enjoy their 2011 release, "Who Is This Who Is Coming?"

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 The Viewing Point by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.94 | 51 ratings

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The Viewing Point
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars You need some cactus with that?

It is beyond me that this spectacular group from the UK isnīt getting more attention than they have. I mean these guys can play - and together to boot. With a love for old school mellotron nī organ tapestries - and a certain garage feel to the guitars and rhythm section(The Sonics or early Pretty Things low fi production springs to mind), The Future Kings of England happen to stumble on two of my long loved things in music: the Chill and the Raw.

In waiting for their new album, I thought I might drop a few words on The Viewing Point, which was released in 2009. You could easily be fooled though, as the record sounds like it was made in the 70s. Thereīs been a huge amount of records released lately which tries to go back in time - fiddle with analog equipment, mic placement, live recording tracks and so forth, -and to tell you the truth: I love it. I donīt think the sounds created after the 80s and especially in the 90s brought anything new to the table - nothing that didnīt sound better a decade before. Well as long as the bands are making their own music - fishing for their own tunes in their own little oceans...

If youīre into Floyd ca 1970-71 - I promise you will love this album. Itīs not that they copy or anything of that sort of nature, but more in the vein of elaborating on textures once uttered in swinging London. I guess itīs the guitars that, much like Gilmour, plays very slowly and soulful - treating the sounds as if they were both rhythm and solo together. I donīt know who is taking care of the lead licks here, but man heīs got some soul power and does have his own sound. More coarse and raspy at the edges, and if even possible slower than Gilmour.

Nearly every song here has some sort of melody filled moment, where the guitars works as a non verbal chorus. Just as well, because unlike their previous record who had sparse singing on it, this one is all instrumental. And speaking of the guitars - I sense a psychedelic post-rock approach in the underlying riffing, that, blended together with the other instruments - forms into something like those small ferocious mini-twisters that sends leaves twirling into the air like flying pyramids of natureīs own debris.

One of my favorite cuts on this album is "Sea Saw" that starts out with piano and some subdued guitar strumming - it builds and builds - and suddenly turns into this very emotional piece that sounds like one of the musicians is playing a saw with a violin bow, - and as Mellotron Storm says in his review - this song does not sound like TFKOE - except for the ending, where the guitars is back melting lava in your ears. Speaking of lava - the best melting rock you get from The Viewing Point is "Time flies like an Arrow". This number intertwine all the key aspects of the album: the slow sluggishly played drums - still keeping the beat though( and I love that [&*!#] - seems every other new prog drummer needs a brain in each extremity to maximize their poly rhythms, instead of pure feel), swaying ethereal guitar patterns, mellotron like sea-breezes and a walking bas thumbing away - tying things together down in the soil.

This is not their best album, but it sure made me smile outside in the rain not long ago. Felt like the waves of rain tuned into the music and started bombarding me to the rhythm, reminding me of the organic texture there is to these guys - everything seems to flow so effortlessly, much like a river. You canīt beat nature, but you can certainly accentuate and amplify the bugger.

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 The Future Kings Of England by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.17 | 94 ratings

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The Future Kings Of England
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Future Kings Of England's self-titled debut is a mesmerizing gem that almost everyone seems to have missed out on. And if it hadn't been for mr Mellotron Storm so would I. A big thanks there! The band released 2 more albums since this debut and while they continued a high quality standard, none of them touches me as much as this one.

Future Kings Of England are a band that has found a unique spot for themselves inbetween majestic post-rock and psychedelic kraut/space-rock. You will also find traces of the mind-expanding 68-71 Floyd era, but it never really sounds like the Floyd to me. The band has more in common to GYBE, be it with more attention to melody and without those extreme quite-loud "dynamics". Both are a plus as far as I'm concerned.

Most songs are quite long, and gradually build, rise and release tension while going through big multiple bars spanning melodies. Fans of minor-key guitar arpeggios and soaring spacious leads will lick their fingers clean on this one. The sound is very open and organic, a bit rough in the drum department but all instruments resonate loud and cleary.

With such a low number of reviews I would certainly dare to call this one low-rated, even though the happy few who have visited this beautiful album have all rated it very highly. Very recommended to lovers of instrumental post-rock and space-rock.

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 The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.93 | 47 ratings

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The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by mark4art

5 stars This was the first Future Kings of England album I purchased. When it came to choosing it was purely down to the fact that Dunwich is only 15 miles down the coast from me. I was fascinated by a band making a song about a place with so much history. A city now succumbed to the sea on a volatile coastline. For me the first track entitled "Dunwich" is beautiful. An ambient melodic psychedelic track which conjures images of waves crashing against cliffs as the sea nibbles away at the land. The tempo increases slowly although it never gathers much pace. The next track is the only one with vocals and I do like them, I found it strange not to hear more although the music never really needs them. The mustard men as well as vocals also has ample percussion and is perhaps my favourite track along with Dunwich. So does that mean the rest of the album is weaker? No "Bartholomews mermen" is another instrumental that builds throughout. This is music to get lost in . "Children of the crown" seems to start in a pub and starts with acoustic guitar. It is a track of two halves and really picks up with a real Pink Floyd feel. The track slows and becomes more melodic and is terrific. "A meeting at the red barn" is a short track. You hear walking across a field and an opening of a barn door and a soft instrumental track. Here the gulls are replaced by crows. This brings you to the last but not least title track. An 18 minute epic which starts quite slowly for the first 5 mins and very psychedelic.gradually guitars and drums increase and the tempo picks up. Not hard to see why other reviews mention post rock. So overall I think this is an album to loose yourself in, usually by the sea. I cannot say that the music is complex although it is very competent. It is a slow placed album that is full of atmosphere.

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 The Future Kings Of England by FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.98 | 4 ratings

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The Future Kings Of England
The Future Kings Of England Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

4 stars The Future Kings Of Psychedelia they are!

Let me ask a question what their purpose for the musical style is. The answer may be involved in the first track 10:66 on this silver disc I guess. We can harvest various sound-crops in 10:66 area; the Kraut-ish opening with mechanical noises, depressive and spacey meteor showers, heavy and psychedelic fuzz guitar solo, inorganic narration and dry, mellow flute sounds blended with loud guitar shouts, and the last aggressively cool rock and roll rush - all held by steady and lazy drumming. Ian's trailing guitar razz, Simon's slithery drumming, and Karl's bass rigidity can boost morale and activity of each other. And surprisingly, this song can get some pop texture in spite of full of progressive elements as previously mentioned. Awesome one.

October Moth is very comfortable in their laid back play, and contrary to this comfort, the sounds and noises like sawing off a metallic tree are also amazing. They should not betray our hope that they are always eccentrically shining. Of course, again various psychedelic fantastic scenes can be seen in the last track Lilly Lockwood (demo). The very last part is very mellow and dreamy but a bit eerie and foreseeing - how mysterious their atmosphere is I wanna say.

Finally, the simple sleeve can be very amazing for me - cannot help myself and burst out chuckling. This EP has wonder and mystery. Recommended.

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