The ghost stories, murder ballads, and grimoires on the new full length album "If Then Not When" by Louisville, KY's King's Daughters & Sons are haunting, spare and at times explosively unsettling; part William Faulkner, part Led Zeppelin.
Clocking in at over 51 minutes despite there being only eight tracks, shows that King's Daughters & Sons are quite happy for the aforementioned ghost stories, murder ballads and grimoires to unfold at their own pace. The album's axis, in more ways than one, is the eight-minute-plus, fourth track, 'The Anniversary': a rich cast of characters weave their way through a tale of love, treachery and murder while the music eddies, tumbles and roars in sympathy with the narrator. It's a phenomenal track, explaining the reference to Faulkner in their press release's opening salvo and clearly demonstrating that this is not your average album.
Bringing together alumni from bands including Shipping News, Rachel's and The For Carnation, King's Daughters & Sons make a music we have come to recognise as very Louisville: atmospheric, complex post-rock music, trudging as though weighed down by some heavy emotional burden. If Then Not When, though, crafts something of stark, sinister beauty. The intertwined vocals of Rachel Grimes, Joe Manning and Michael Heineman recall something of Low's sombre chorus, but gothic folk tales like "Open Sky" walk a tangled path, starting hushed but building towards blazing, dramatic denouments.
The recording was made direct to 2 inch tape in 2008 and 2009 at The Funeral Home by Kevin Ratterman, engineer for California Guitar Trio, My Morning Jacket and Wax Fang. Mastering by Bob Weston, Chicago Mastering Service.
Kyle Crabtree - drums
Todd Cook - bass
Rachel Grimes - piano, vocals
Joe Manning - guitar, vocals
Michael Heineman - guitar, vocals