Sam Duckworth – Kingdoms (Xtra Mile Recordings)

Genre – Folk Punk

Hands up if you remember Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly! Well, a lot’s changed for Sam since the young, fresh faced days of War of the Worlds.

The last twelve months has seen Sam delved into a purple patch of creativity, arguably the most productive of his career. We’ve seen the experimental electronic EP under the stage name Recreations come and go, and now he’s back with a genre of music he was born to play – folk punk.

From the opening track All These Nights, Sam Duckworth’s acoustic guitar is brilliantly raw. There’s a passion is his music, a drive behind his music and a raspy sound in his vocals that we haven’t seen with him before.

Sam’s musical outpouring is said to be a result of him being ‘shaken and stirred by the times.’ With so much political turmoil over the last twelve months, with referendums galore, clowns in the White House and the age old rich getting richer, it’s no surprise the Essex born star has plenty to write about. This is clearer than ever in the socio political commentary of 1986, a track that discusses politicians fighting amongst themselves, misleading major corporations and the money being generated by the rich.

3rd Generation is another social commentary that sees Sam and his guitar, discuss growing up – learning to lie at the age of nine, battling with your teachers at school, leaving home, getting a job, losing your job as the job market crashes, moving back home, having a child at 26… This raw, real number shows Sam Duckworth’s raw talent as a folk musician. He knows when to play and sing, and he knows when his bare vocals will effectively get his message across.

Kingdoms’ is a relatable album for the British public. It’s filled with colloquialisms such as ‘rock and roll, on the dole’ in Multitasker that will give you a sense of familiarity with Sam, whilst also making you laugh as he keeps a balance between letting his frustrations loose, and intertwining it with the bitter sarcasm our nation loves so dear.

Like label mate Beans On Toast did on his last album Spanner In The Works (Drum Kit With A Gap), Sam Duckworth takes to the pressing issue of counter culture and the arts. Like Beans, he discusses the closing of music venues, the histories of punk being wiped out and the effects this will have on future generations. For fans of music and art, this shit is real. This is what more musicians need to shout about. Forget sold our glamorous arenas, it’s the grass roots that are suffering. Without the presence of these small venues, there will be no arena selling acts.

Kingdoms is a breath of fresh air. Sam Duckworth is another chip off the old block at Xtra Mile Recordings, a label that continue to produce unique music with artistic freedom, and one that he can excel on if he keeps producing songs at this rate.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 8/10 Introducing Sam Duckworth’s real War of the Words!