September 15th, 2006 5:33 pm | by MARK BAUMGARTEN Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

LEAK: The Kingdom, "Polaris" from K1 (Arena Rock)

The KingdomThe Kingdom, led by one of Portland's most delightfully spastic citizens of the night, Charles Westmoreland, is known for its unhinged performances that generally involve a lot of synth, sweat, booze and unintelligible lyricism. On the band's upcoming release K1, though, the Kingdom reveals a more mature take on Westmoreland's inspired-yet-curt pop gems, adding a bunch of strings and more considered arrangements. "Polaris" here is slowed down and packed by a piano, and that's it. Live, the song is a all trumped up drama with Westmoreland's spit scrawl barely legible, clarity only emerging for the line "I would like/ To break your fuckin' ..." and then fading again into obscurity. Here, the song is a tender ballad that maintains its edge while becoming even more curiously charming and intelligible, with gem lyrics now given their due. Now you can hear Westmoreland sing, "Your snow mobile jacket fits like a dream." It still doesn't really make any sense, but now you can sign along. And you will want to sing along.

Look for a full review of K1 in next Wednesday's Willamette Week.

The Kingdom:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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