The Kingston Springs – The Kingston Springs (Album Review)
If 2012 hasn’t already been deemed a banner year for The Kingston Springs, the release of their self-titled, full-length, debut album, sets it in stone. The dues paid, and time spent on the road, journeying to some of the country’s most prestigious music festivals (Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Hangout Music Fest) and many of our country’s living room-sized venues, have seasoned this group of young Tennessee artists into a formidable band that are certainly bringing more notoriety than ever to the quaint town of 2,773.
Their music has a sense of tangible honesty and authenticity; in lyric and instrumentation, that’s consistent from their first release The Vacation Time EP, to their live performance, and is one of the biggest takeaways we’ve had after our initial few spins of The Kingston Springs. It could be said that honesty runs deeper than word, with the band recording direct to tape, and turning down numerous label deals, to maintain their control of the mature sound developed by the four piece band in a rather short length of time.
Throughout the album we hear a diverse multitude of influences and elements, married together in a sound that is distinctly their own – a timeless sound. Whether that be the singer-songwriter-esque “Lover”, or the psycha-rockabilly-blues jam of “Kinda Shaken” which ultimately breaks down into a gentle landing that leaves you wondering – what just happened? Let’s do it again. We were pleased to see the opening track from their debut EP, “Weight of the World”, which is likely to be one of the most popular tracks on the album. The ballad/biopic track “Dirty Sherry” is reminiscent to our ears of a grittier “Carolina Drama” by The Raconteurs – shocked by that parallel? We were too.
On the band’s BandCamp page, they tag their sound as “rockytopsurfrockheavybluesswag”. My personal reaction was rather dismissive in awarding any validity to the aforementioned cluster of characters; however, it’s all there – even the swag. While certainly diverse in terms of traditional genres, there’s a consistent thread throughout the eleven-track album that says – The Kingston Springs. It may be the unique, raw, harmony created between Ian Ferguson’s vocals and the sonic layers that back him. Whatever it is, we like it – a lot.