There are a few things we have learnt from Kingswood after their breakthrough 2013. Much like their live performance; they are loud, in-your-face and certainly captivating. After introducing themselves with their debut EP Change Of Heart, the Melbourne group have released their first studio album Microscopic Wars. The record exudes rock and roll, but also introduces a more diverse side of the band.

The opening track ‘All Too Much’ gives the listener a taste of what’s to come. The track could just about have carried on from ‘Wolf’; the final track of their previous EP. A wall of Alex Laska’s guitar and Justin Debrincat’s drums holds the track together, with front man Fergus Linacre all the while showcasing his characteristically high-pitched vocals. ‘All Too Much’ will definitely be a fan favourite in their live performances.

‘Sucker Punch’ was the first single released from the album, and for good reason. Heavy guitar riffs, a marching drumbeat and screaming vocals are present throughout the album, yet the standout feature on the track is the vocal harmonies. Linacre’s piercing choruses combine with the bluesy swagger of Laska’s vocals, creating a lot more depth within the music. Perhaps the vocal mixture was lacking on Change Of Heart, but the harmonies provide the band with a new and powerful instrument on their debut album.

While so far on the album we have had nothing but Kingswood-style rock, there is change to come. What is so refreshing about the record is the depth the band provides. Of course, we can expect tracks such as ‘Sucker Punch’; yet they also show diversity with smoother, groovier tracks. Their latest single ‘I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me’ really slows things down, and introduces Laska to lead vocals. Completed with a grunge-style electric guitar, fuzzy bass lines and of course the contrasting harmonies; the track is a gloomy alternative to their typical sound, and is not the only track to show this side of Kingswood.

‘Ohio’ and ‘She’s My Baby’ were re-recorded to be included on the album, and done so to appropriately suit the style of the record. The snare drum, particularly in ‘Ohio’ has a much more industrial sound to it, which leaves an unsolicited ringing in your ears. Aside from this, the band did well not to alter the singles too much.

The record has not only provided fans with more tracks to get familiar with, but has also shown the progression of the band. From their energetic tracks to the blues-inspired, slower tracks; the album showcases the band’s potential for diversity. The vocal harmonies are the highlight on the record, while Laska’s guitar riffs and assortment of solos also deserve a mention.

After the tastes we’ve had of Kingswood over the past year, Microscopic Wars is a promising and diverse debut album from the Melbourne band, who will likely become a popular choice at upcoming festivals over summer.

8/10

 

Microscopic Wars was released on August 22nd through Dew Process.