For Dublin based band Future Kings Of Spain, Nervousystem was almost the album that never was.
Written and recorded two years ago, the band’s label ‘Red Flag’ went into liquidation and refused to allow the band release the material. Now free from any commitments the band are back with what only can be described as a fuller sounding more complete album to their self titled debut album.
Tracks like ‘Guess Again’, ‘Disappear’ and ‘This is the End’ show a somewhat more radio friendly side to the bands repertoire without sacrificing any of their underground reputation or alienating their core group of fans.
Achieved through clever hooks and a tantalising rhythm that leads you on until it peaks and explodes into a cacophony of screams and driving beats. Wilson, a fan of Scandinavian death metal, packs a real punch with his growling vocals.
The heralding of guitars start this royal procession as ‘Guess Again’ reassures any loyal subject that the unforced hiatus hasn’t robbed the band of anything. The debacle with their previous record label is satirized in “This is the end”, with Joey ironically liking it to a horrible break up.
A telling improvement on Nervousystem is the level of production, with their previous release their songs felt very cramped as if all four instruments were laid directly on top of each other, however there is a freedom and a sense of release as there is an audible bass underpinned by a distinct drum line all culminating to the signature guitar riffs.
The standout track on the album has to be ‘Syndicate’, at over 8 minutes and 20 seconds long it is a song of immense proportions and various phases which also showcases the bands ability to move from the melodic and subtle through to the more biting and furious side of their persona. The song comes full circle as it practically ends where it begins with a dainty riff picked delicately by Wilson.
‘This Song’ is a step in a new direction for the band, featuring strings and an almost acoustic sound, Wilson softly narrates his diatribe about a lost love stating “do you like this song” and “but every time I see you round all I want to do is call”.
The only complaint about this album is the lack of anger and biting lyrics that cemented their debut album. The band has mellowed to an extent and it leads to a more level sounding release.
Nevertheless it is still a fantastic effort and one with which the band will conquer many a new land aswell as certify their rule over an already over-awed kingdom.