King Creosote – Flick the Vs (Domino Records)
If there’s something you probably wouldn’t expect from a King Creosote record, it’s the massive stabs of eighties synth which herald the opening of No One Had It Better.
Initially this seems out of place, almost as if Brandon Flowers had happened to misplace his array of keyboards during a Scottish jaunt, but then those typical lilting vocals kick in and the pace begins to make sense. It may be furious underneath but, much like a duck, King Creosote is calm as ever on the surface.
At seven minutes, it’s a lengthy introduction to Flick the Vs. However, repeated listens offer some interesting layering, like the inclusion of lyrics to 2005’s Bootprints hiding away under the main melody.
From here on in it’s a mixed affair, with much of the traditional folk feel you’d expect backed by electric drum beats, yet this sits comfortably alongside the delicate simplicity of Fell An Ox. Although this format does much to retain your interest, aside from the opening track it is mainly the tried and tested method which is best pulled off.
Curtain Craft’s gentle melancholy with the odd burst of horns and a quiet melodica backing a tale of relationship deterioration; the accordion-backed harmonies of Rims; this is where the high points lie. Much of the experimentation is brave – and not at all bad – but the niche King Creosote has carved for himself over the years is still one he excels in.
words: Hannah Bayfield
King Creosote plays Manchester Ruby Lounge on 9th June 2009 as a part of his latest UK tour.