Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Golden Vault’, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. You’ll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is an Irish classic the self-titled by Future Kings Of Spain.
One of the great mysteries from the Irish music scene in the early noughties is how Future Kings Of Spain failed to turn one of the best Irish rock records of the decade into chart success, whilst bands such as Director straddled the charts with albums crammed with more filler than Pete Burns' lips.
Their eponymous 2003 début pulsated with the swaggering self-loathing of alternative rock acts such as Pavement, Nada Surf and the Pixies, and lyrics that bled the heartbreak and ache of unrequited love, rejection, and the string-along.
Singer Joey Wilson’s tortured screams were as palpable as his hesitant admissions of emotions on the album’s more soul-searching moments. Working with Fugazi producer Ted Niceley and Eli Janney from Girls Against Boys ensured that the album had an authentic DIY hard-core sound, one that suited both the frenzied and sedate sides of the Future Kings Of Spain in equal measure.
Songs such as A Place For Everything and Face I Know snarled with the requisite tempest of unbridled angst and acrimony, whilst Your Starlight and Venetian Blinds charged with clinical precision. Elsewhere, songs like Simple Fact and Hanging Around unfurled the tattered emotions of confused love-hate situations.
Support slots with major acts such as Muse and Biffy Clyro followed the album’s release and the band traversed the world playing shows across Europe, America and Japan, but despite all the perfect ingredients the FKOS cake refused to rise.
The band released their second and final album ‘Nervousystem’ in 2007 on their own label, What’s The Kim? Recordings, before disbanding with little fanfare.
But Future Kings Of Spain left behind one of the greatest Irish rock records of all time, and that should never be forgotten.