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There isn’t much I know about King Of Woolworths. There isn’t even a Wikipedia entry for the group. The little I’ve found out about project has been through sites run by fans around the globe. I only know that I LOVE this album.

It was only by a chance that I ever even heard about them in the first place. During the summer of 2002 the radio station WOXY, in Oxford, OH at the time, starting playing this curious little track called “To The Devil A Donut.” It started off in slow rotation but eventually made it into heavy play for a few solid months. I’m not sure the DJs even knew much about it…they just liked it so they put it on the radio.

It’s a pretty creepy track with bits from an old horror movie entitled “To The Devil A Daughter”. On the face there are very obvious reasons why it’s got a case of the creep. It uses snippets of dialogue about baptizing a baby in the blood of her dead mother, bringing that babe up in seclusion as the devil,  and then pumping her full of morphine. You know, the usual.

But it’s not really what’s on the face that makes it creep hypnotique, verging on a dream. With every song on this album I envision myself lying on the ground, staring face up at a different situation. The beat, the strange use of strange 70′s British synth, and the vaporous ambient cloud swallows you up and spits you out on another locale at each track’s start

With “To The Devil A Daughter” I envision myself sprawled out in a cold cellar of an ancient English country manor. It’s so old, in fact, that the floor is composed of soft, damp earth instead of hard cement. The walls are large stone without caulk. The ceiling is comprised of old oak beams, covered in spider webs. The room is lit by the soft but terrifying flicker of torch light. Hooded shadows work their way in and out of the ominous glow, always threatening but never pouncing. The suspense is terrible but just as it comes to a climax the track changes and I’m transported elsewhere.

In “Theydon” I’m lying on the beach somewhere on the coast of the North Sea. I don’t know how I got there and I don’t know why I’m wet and I don’t know why I’m wearing a blue and white fleece because I don’t ever wear fleece but I don’t care. I don’t care because beautiful music floats over my drenched body and connects me with the little pebbles covering my jeans. I say hello to the passing gulls. The sun rises and I worry temporarily that it will melt my bones, but the fear quickly passes and I’m at peace. Everything’s OK.

The album takes turns tossing you psychologically from dark to light, harm to safety. It’s like a continually operating wooden rollercoaster in an abandoned park that you keep riding over and over and over. You always think it’s gonna jump the tracks and fling you into a bloody underbrush demise. But it doesn’t, it keeps on round and round in a beautiful and terrifying loop.

I think Mr. King Of Woolworths himself, Jon Brooks, puts it best: “Everything’s fine, but there is something not quite right about it.”

>>>Click here to download Ming Star

Tracklist

1 Kentish Town 5:33
2 Bakerloo (Main Titles) 6:19
3 Where Fleas Hide 1:58
4 Stalker Song 4:44
5 Colcannon 5:14
6 To The Devil A Donut 6:02
7 Kite Hill 5:30
8 The Watchmaker’s Hands 7:11
9 Theydon 6:49
10 Bakerloo (End Credits) 4:40