Kingswood @ The Workers Club
The very same day as they were announced as one of the Triple J Unearthed bands to be gracing the Splendour in the Grass stage, Kingswood kicked off their nationwide tour with the first of two nights in the Worker’s Club bandroom.
The Vulture arrived just in time to catch the end of Money for Rope’s two-drummer/four-vocalist assault. Minus their regular bass player Michael Cini, who unfortunately copped a hiding at the Reclink Community Cup last weekend and was rendered unable to play due a broken arm, Money for Rope gave us a blast of high octane surf-garage rock and roll, and had hips shakin’ and bodies movin’ all over the place.
Kingswood soon arrived with a special delivery of their brand of heavy stoner punk, which is hidden in the guise of flannelette-clad pub rock. Loud, fast and raucous, they had the audience captivated from the opening riffs and yelps of ‘She’s My Baby’, and the energy didn’t let up the whole way through. Dynamics aren’t really an important part of Kingswood’s reportiore, but when they do the louds so well, there’s not really any need for the quiets.
‘Medusa’ and ‘Change of Heart’ stomped along nicely, and there was very nearly a crowd singalong during new track ‘Red Sun’, but it was ‘Yeah Go Die’, the single currently enjoying a flogging on Triple J, that drew us to this band in the first place. And it’s just as huge live as it is on the radio. It is on this track that the Queens of the Stone Age comparisions that follow this band around are most inevitable (and it totally wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Songs for the Deaf), but the song is great on it’s own merits, and there are far worse bands you could be compared to.
And my god, the recently cropped vocalist Fergus Linacre can sing. From a Josh Homme baritone, to a Chris Cornell scream, all the way to a Robert Plant high pitched wail, his range is huge and his melodic control outstanding. And his passionate delivery gave you the feeling that if you tried walk out the door, he’d grab you by the hair and drag you back in, pour a beer down your throat (as he did to guitarist Alex Laska midway through one of his face melting solos) and throw you back into the crowd so he could finish wailing “Say that you’ve seen it all before / But before was when you never had anything more” right into your face.
At this early stage of their career, the influences Kingswood draw from are a little too obvious – while imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, it was a little too easy to say “Ok this song sounds like Led Zepplin, and this one sounds like AC/DC” and so on. Hopefully Kingswood are able to mould these influences into a sound that is unique to them, that others can imitate in the future. With the musical talent and songwriting skills on show tonight, there is every chance that Kingswood could be the Wolfmother-sized success story of 2012 (hopefully minus the ungraceful implosion that doomed that band). They’re great now, but on the cusp of being pretty amazing.