By Krystal Dawn Muhlbach
When I was sixteen my best friend and I got aboard a train that darts from our mundane little city to the bigger, more thrilling city of Los Angeles. Broke, underage, and with a borderline lethal sense of adventure, we got on that train without a penny in our pocket or a ticket in our hand. With luck on our side we made it to LA and home again, without ever sparing money for a pass onboard. To this day we refer to that youthful event as “that time we train hopped” and its seeded within me a deep fascination for those who hop trains. Kingsley Flood’s debut album Dust Windows, however calls for another type of train hopping. A dirtier, more raw and exciting sort of train hopping. A type that actually involves running.
Hailing from Boston, Kingsley Flood (frontman Naseem Khuri, Nick Balkin on bass, drummer Will Davies, guitarist George Hall and Jenée Morgan on fiddle) create a sound that is far more than simple. As expected with the band’s name, every tune is truely flooded with a variety of instruments, using not only the expected classical country elements of the fiddle, but also the ever-present and always pleasing strum of rhythm guitar. A melting pot of collaborative musical effort, each of the six members seems to be just as responsible for the sonic bliss as the next, particularly on the track “Devil’s Arms.” A rather captivating song which impacts the listener not only through its dynamic and ambiguous lyrics, but also through the pace and speed at which the song unfolds. Beginning with a cough from Naseem, as if bracing himself for the instrumental choas that surely ensues, this track is the epitome of what Kingsley Flood’s music exudes.
A group that has perfected the ability to be more than one place at the same time, to belong to more than one genre, and to showcase the vast array of their abilities in a manner that somehow clashes together instruments that aren’t typically heard side by side, and still creating something other than just noise. Kingsley Flood makes music. All sorts of music, blending everything from the trumpet, to the kazoo, to the triangle. They do a fantastic job in transcending the listener into the mood each song creates. “Cathedral Walls”, one of the slower titles on the album, is delicate yet still stays true to the musical DNA that is Kingsley Flood. Elusive and adventurous and flooded with variety, Kingsley Flood mixes countless elements together in a beautifully crafted way, proving that even amongst what could very well be clutter, there is always a method to the madness.