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The Kingdom, ‘K1′ (Arena Rock)

The Kingdom can careen recklessly toward pretentiousness (their first EP was a concept epic about legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas), but here, these Portland indie rockers swerve in a more nervy, enigmatic direction. With a strange, initially off-putting voice — part Fine Young Cannibals, part Counting Crows, with none of the negativity implied by either — frontman Charles Westmoreland spools out a theme concerning a cross-country race, but it’s his fearless delivery, across agitated guitars, strings, and sometimes nothing at all, that makes K1 such an unbridled blast. Just 25 minutes long, it feels almost monumental.

Now Hear This: The Kingdom – “Higher” DOWNLOAD MP3

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