Reverend and the Makers follow on from their 2015 groundbreaking album Mirrors with the genre blending The Death of a King. There's rock, pop, folk, jazz, blues and even a hint at old time music hall along the way. The album is blessed with some great moments, but it feels like a jigsaw that's not quite put together. Many of the tracks are short - not that that's an issue, some of the greatest songs ever made were tiny bundles of wonder - but many of these songs feel like premature musical ejaculation; just when they get going it's over too soon, leaving you unsatisfied and in search of something to fulfill the sonic sensations that have turned you on. Songs such as Carlene end like a cliffhanger that we never get a resolution for before we get dragged into the next song. Even in more cohesive moments like the grungy Too Tough To Die and the Brit pop styled Auld Reekie Blues feel disappointingly curtailed.
On a more positive note, the band certainly make the most of their members this time round. The addition of Joe Carnall helps the band on the heavier tracks like Black Cat and Monkey See Monkey Do and Laura McClure's sultry vocals on Black Flowers are an unexpected and very welcome addition to the album.
But all this buzzkill is pretty much irrelevant to the band themselves who are making the music they want to make regardless of what the critics may say. The Rev has a firm hold of his musical collective, even getting the wives and kids involved. Even so, I can't help feeling that The Death of a King is a nascent album, that eked out in the right places could have been a real evangelical moment for the Reverend.
Groupie Rating 3/5