2020 saw the return of Kingswood, the Melbourne favourites delivering a career-defining, critically acclaimed third studio album in Juveniles. The album, signalling a new era for the band, landed at #13 on the ARIA Albums Chart and reintroduced Kingswood to fans and newcomers alike; their love for unabashed rock and roll channelled through some of their most cohesive and well-rounded songwriting to date.
And now, with only a few months left in what has been a year nobody saw coming, Kingswood debut a new side of the Juveniles project – the 12 track album, reimagined. The band takes the music of Juveniles into a more intimate and nuanced sonic space, swapping the harder rock sounds for Americana-flecked, blues charm. Here, the band presents a fitting companion piece – Reveries.
With Reveries out now and quickly racking up rave reviews from fans and critics alike, we had shredhead supreme Alex Laska wax lyrical on his favourite gear-related memories from the making of the masterpiece...
1. SOMETHING’S IN THE WATER – ’62 GIBSON ES-335
Pictured here is a re-issued 1962 Gibson Custom Shop ES-335 purchased right off the Gibson factory floor in Nashville, Tennessee. This particular guitar, is the guitar you hear responsible for all the electric work sprinkled throughout the album but notably, and noticeably, on the track “Tell Me You Love Me”. The guitar has a certain panache, a character all of its own, inimitable, and one that inspires very particular lines, lines that I would never consider on any other one of my guitars. I suppose this is true of most unique instruments, none the less, there is a “mojo” contained within this one that speaks a “truth". The guitar doesn’t permit trickery or habit, but rather enforces the idea of melody and the voice; I certainly felt its influence rather than the reverse.
2. WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT GERMAN ENGINEERING? – 1986 SENNHEISER MD-441
This microphone is a particular favourite of mine and hugely responsible for a lot of the sounds you hear on the album. Another favourite guitar moment not listed here, as it would require its own very in-depth and considered piece, would be the lap steel playing of one Shane Reilly - having been largely captured by this very microphone. It is safe to say that no two microphones, of any sort are the same, and this one is particularly good at capturing mid focused clean guitar sounds absolutely beautifully, which sounds much easier than it is. Of course it helps when you have great playing and tone but this 441, that I procured in a series of domino effects propagated by luck, was integral to the experience you now perceive.
HOLY NAZARETH! – MARTIN OM-28
There are no secrets reserved for the majesty and mythology of Martin Guitars, a mythology that I have whole-heartedly bought into since my first acoustic. This guitar was purchased some years ago under the guidance of the wonderful Stuart Mansley who is responsible for Martin in Australia. Established in 1833 and made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Martin guitars are still widely considered the pinnacle of quality and leaders in all things acoustic, with their guitars heard on the most iconic of blue-grass, country, pop, thumb-style, etc. My OM-28 is a fine example of this and the main acoustic guitar on just about all of the Kingswood repertoire to date with a few cameos from my D-16GT, the first Martin I ever bought.
4. MY HEART KEEPS GOIN’ BACK TO NASHVILLE – MYTHOS PEDALS
Mythos Pedals are a boutique guitar effects company founded by Mr. Zach Broyles, in Nashville, Tennessee. These pedals have very quickly become touted as some of the best in the business and for good reason. My collection started with the ‘Mjolnir’ overdrive - a very simple but musical device that ended finding its way onto every single board I own in a variety of editions. Consequently, I’ve ventured out and now proudly own just about every model Zach has on offer. They are well constructed, very reasonably priced and critical to my tones in all fields. Reveries makes use of the ‘Cestus' clean boost, the ‘Mjolnir’ overdrive, the ‘Herculean’ overdrive and the combination pedal, ’Susmaryosep’ which combines a clean boost, an overdrive and a delay into a wonderful little package.
5. BANJOS A’ PLENTY – DEAN GUITARS BACKWOODS 6 BANJO
The “Banjuitar" or the “Ganjo” features on Reveries on a number of tracks and is an incredibly fun instrument to play. If you’re terrible at traditional banjo playing, which I am, for a very brief moment you can be afforded some of the tonal characteristics associated with the Banjo but allows the playing, if so desired, of a traditional six-string guitar. This instrument was purchased on a whim some years ago prior to an in-studio performance in the spirit of “fun” and “variety” with little knowledge and foresight of how much it would influence some of the directions taken in this album. It’s the things you never account for or predict that can often become the most exciting and rewarding.