‘Kingdom of Fear’
East Cameron Folkcore (Nine Mile)
3.5 stars out of 5
There’s a lot of stuff going on with Texas-based collective East Cameron Folkcore and it may well take a few spins of third full-length “Kingdom of Fear” for you to fully absorb everything the sprawling band has to offer.
“Many musicians write about their love life, their baby or their darling,” band leader/primary vocalist Jesse Moore says. “They write about heartache and loss or desire and passion. But this type of emotional self-centering doesn’t interest me. To me, our music is a medium that connects people and addresses issues that are really important.”
The 14-track, 60-minute slab is broken down into four movements — I: The Grand Illusion, II: Through the Looking Glass, III: The People Speak and IV: Ship of Fools — as East Cameron Folkcore blend folk, country, blues and punk to deliver a critical inventory of the modern world. It’s an ambitious project — and, frankly, the band overreaches a bit — but “Kingdom of Fear” makes for a consistently compelling, politically-charged listen.
Among the stronger entries here are the title track, “The Joke,” “Fracking Boomtown,” “When We Get Home,” “Protest Hero,” “Blackheart From a Beating Drum” and sprawling closer “Goodbye to Fear.” East Cameron Folkcore force you think — always a good thing — but be warned you’ll probably be spent by the time the record stops spinning. (Jeffrey Sisk)