Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Kingdom Come - Journey

Kingdom Come

Released 1973 on Polydor (Super 2310 254)
Reviewed by cancer boy, 22/01/2001ce

Thankfully nothing to do with the 80's cock rock band Kingdom Come or 70's AOR band Journey, this album finds Brown's 70's band (described at the time in Record Mirror as "a nightmare cacophony of horror") in full electronic psych/space rock mode.

An early drum machine drives the music, reminiscent of the rhythm section of a Bontempi organ but run through enough compression to give it a real kick. Fat analogue synths, distorted guitars and Brown's distinctive vocals are layered over metronomic bass parts, with occasional Gong-style mock choral backing vocals.

The intense opening cut, "Time Captives", features a lengthy drum machine intro building from a single echoing kick drum until the synths cut through the mix and it shifts down a gear into a serene vocal section. Ideal for getting the room spinning when you've had a few. The succeeding cuts "Triangles" and "Gypsy" feature repetitive synth patterns and harsh guitar arpeggios like a roughed up Tangerine Dream, with more varied use of the primitive drum sounds and Brown's vocals towards the end back in Crazy World screaming mode.

The second side is more laid back, with the opener "Superficial Road Blocks" featuring prominent choral Mellotron but coupled with disjointed rhythms and a disconcerting vocal. "Conception" is so nondescript that I... er... can't think of anything at all to say about it. The January 1973 single "Spirit of Joy" that follows it is as upbeat as the previous side is tranced out, prominent drum machines and an exuberant vocal - similar to his (average) later LP "Chisholm in my Bosom". Presumably the outlandish lyrics and spacey production kept this off the Radio 1 playlists at the time.

The final cut, "Come Alive", is the most conventionally rocking one from the LP, featuring a disjointed, distorted blues rock workout with the drum machine accents shifting and occasionally jarring. The vocals vary from harsh to strangely hollow sounding, before the tempo winds down to a blissed out analogue synth/Hammond ending with one of Brown's most emotional vocals.

PS All the Kingdom come LPs were re-released on CD by Voiceprint back in the day, I think these are now deleted. You should be able to pick up the original vinyl for £10-£15 in the UK. Some of these tracks are included on a 1976 compilation "The Lost Ears" which is also well worth a listen if you run across a copy. Their first LP "Galactic Zoo Dossier" is worth a listen, but I didn't rate their second "Kingdom Come" (a bit on the prog rock side) or the aptly titled "Jam" (good if you think Amon Duul I sound too organised).

Reviews Index