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King Creosote - Rocket D.i.y

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 17 / 5 / 2005

King Creosote - Rocket D.i.y
Label: Domino Records
Format: CD


King Creosote is more usually known as Kenny Anderson, of Fife’s Fence Collective. Fence is a ‘rag-tag amalgam of bands, DJs and solo artists’ whose numbers also include Lone Pigeon and folk troubadou

King Creosote is more usually known as Kenny Anderson, of Fife’s Fence Collective. Fence is a ‘rag-tag amalgam of bands, DJs and solo artists’ whose numbers also include Lone Pigeon and folk troubadour James Yorkston. Fence is loosely affiliated (although that makes it sound much more formal than it actually is) with some of the folktronica artists in London, such as former Fridge members Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) and Adem. With the latter, King Creosote shares a voice, that of the chronicler of domestic tales of everyday life in the 21st century. 'Twin Tub Twin',the first track on 'Rocket D.I.Y.' is a tale of domestic bliss, told Fife-style, which is to say that it takes a look at life through the loads of washing that pass through the house each day. It’s sparse but engaging, helped along by Kenny’s distinctive voice. Its central idea – it seems flippant to call it a chorus – “Things sometimes work out, it all comes out in the wash. But if it don’t, there’s no harm done” is indicative of the sentiment of the rest of the album. 'Saffy Nool' is a bit more upbeat, hanging off a tightly strummed guitar part with a banjo in the background. Like the previous song, it’s more about the loss and regret side of love and life than the happy times. It gains ground when the drums kick in halfway through. There’s humour here too – it’s not all doom and gloom – as on the first line of Klutz: “I swore I would not get caught out again, but I swore like fuck when I was”. Live, King Creosote’s sets are electric, both literally and figuratively. His is an emotional performance, but a warm one. He’s often backed up by James Yorkston on stage, and Yorkston helps to add a bassier tone to the harmony, transforming it from being lamentative to a more uplifting kind of music. The main criticism of 'Rocket DIY' is that it sometimes lacks that warmth that comes from having voices other than Anderson’s shining through. That’s not to say that all the vocals here are his, but often it seems like it would be just a matter of shifting the mix slightly to emphasise the other sounds that would lift it to another level. As on 'Circle My Demise', which sounds particularly Spartan and slightly off-putting on record, but there’s a gem of a song waiting to get out. By and large, though, these songs are so good that a small matter of tone can’t stop them from being affecting and enjoyable. It certainly feels like a rainy, cloudy viewpoint that King Creosote is seeing from – mainly in minor keys, his songs tell stories that are notable for their awareness of both sides of the story, to put it generously (less generously, he’s miserable – but in a good way). It sometimes leans too much towards gloominess, but there’s always a more upbeat song around the corner – albeit, usually, an upbeat song with a dark twist.

Track Listing:-
1 Twin Tub Twin
2 Saffy Nool
3 Klutz
4 Crow's Feet
5 Spooned Out On Tick
6 pH 6.5
7 Circle My Demise
8 King Bubbles In Sand
9 The Things, Things, Things
10 A Month of Firsts
11 Thrills & Spills
12 The Someone Else

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