Red River 2014
Riffy Kink rocks and rolls his memories – sharp, heavy and to the point.
While his older brother tries to keep their feud alive by teasing the media with THE KINKS’ possible reunion, Dave Davies simply keeps on playing and exorcizing past demons through the tunes. “Don’t let this dark emotions drag you down,” he sings in the gloomy blues of the title track of the album, which emerges in the wake of previous year’s "I Will Be Me" and takes its introspection to a more literal and raucous level. No name guests now, only a tight unit to ride the rave-up prevalent here, yet names are named, as the piano-splashed “Front Room” is purely autobiographical, depicting domestic situations – “We started a band, rehearsed all plugged into one amp, with Peter, Ray and Jonah from next door” – and adding a certain famous riff to such a continuation of “Little Green Amp” from this record’s predecessor.
It’s not an easy stroll down memory lane, though, and the FX-laden “Semblance Of Sanity” channels paranoia from the past to the present, “from Muswell Hill to Milton Keynes” as the equally serrated “Nosey Neighbours” puts it, yet humor is never far away from Dave’s walks. There’s a celebratory mood in all-but-nostalgic “In The Old Days,” whereas the trumpet-adorned mariachi shuffle of “King Of Karaoke” beckons the listener to a retro-dancefloor, while Davies lists one’s favorite songs staples, quotes “Sunny Afternoon,” and pours a drop of optimism in what could have been a bitter brew, before the acoustically tinctured “Mindwash” revisits the same old riff and delivers a punchline: “Life is hard but life’s a dream.” And if anyone has any doubt about Dave’s ability to carry THE KINKS’ legacy, the laid-back observation of “Through My Window” shatters it to pieces – only to leave the hazy reverie hang in the air because, as Davis states, he sees no-one. That’s why the veteran’s rippin’ up time: to make it all timeless.