Kingmaker

Kingmaker were an English indie rock group, founded in Kingston upon Hull in 1990.
The group was formed during their gap year by school friends Loz Hardy and Myles Howell. They placed an advertisement for a drummer, and recruited John Andrew who was an ex-travelling puppeteer and considerably older.

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Top SongsAlbum
1
You and I Will Never See Things Eye to EyeBloodshot and Fancy Free: The Best of Kingmaker5:01
2
Every Teenage SuicideEat Yourself Whole3:17
3
WaveEat Yourself Whole3:57
4
Sad to See You GoSleepwalking3:29
5
Armchair AnarchistSleepwalking3:12
6
Sometimes I Think She Takes Me Along Just for the RideIn the Best Possible Taste5:50
7
Flesh PhobiaSleepwalking3:27
8
Wonderful GardenEat Yourself Whole3:25
9
Queen JaneSleepwalking3:54
10
Loose Lips Sink ShipsTo Hell with Humdrum3:35
With an unchanged lineup and for part of the time the same producer, Pat Collier, Kingmaker took things to a more impressive level on Sleepwalking, the brash and well-intentioned Eat Yourself Whole days giving way, just a little, to a more impressive, edgier effort. It's a matter of degrees, admittedly -- Hardy is still addicted to some fairly abysmal rhymes at points, while his voice remains unchanged outside of a rougher bark here and there, which doesn't always serve him well. However, the music as a whole gels a bit better this time and, while Hardy found his thunder completely stolen soon after by Oasis, whose Jam/Smiths worship was transformed into something truly spectacular, on balance Sleepwalking is a much more enjoyable listen in the end than Kingmaker's debut. The Howell/Andrew rhythm team comes a little more into its own, Andrew in particular building on the occasional flash and flair he demonstrated in earlier recordings, while Hardy's guitar work is much more direct and slashing, even at the band's jauntier moments. Meanwhile, some of the guest performers do their best to make Sleepwalking a downright lush experience at points -- James Taylor (the English keyboardist, not the American easy listening guy) adds keyboards on a number of songs, while Anne Dudley adds a low-key string arrangement to "Tomorrow's World." Even the obvious genre exercises -- the ska-tinged "Queen Jane," the overt Spector drama of "Help Yourself," the glammed-up strut "Ten Years Asleep" -- are good fun. Still, though, somebody needed to tell Hardy to drop the obvious pop culture references used as metaphor -- "With his macho pressgang crowd/Belsen would be his EuroDisney" is pure pain, and merely one poor example of many.
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