Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Kylesa - Static Tensions (Album of the Month)
With all the raving going on over this latest outburst from Kylesa, it’s important to point out that this wasn’t the dead cert it may have looked for an album of the month slot. It isn’t an unqualified piece of waxen genius. It’s scarily close though.
Where Melvins singularly failed to keep themselves lively on the two drumkit path, Kylsea have succeeded. If ever the old ‘you gotta listen to it on headphones’ trope was appropriate, it’s now. So when you pick this album up, make sure to double your fun.
The opening charges of ‘Scapegoat’, ‘Insomnia For Months’ and ‘Said And Done’ demonstrate what’s cool about this idea which is gradually gaining more and more currency. With tubs thumped left, right and centre (and indeed probably in 5.1 surround next time), it’s like an attack from all sides. They’re clever though, in that the depth of rhythmic detail is disguised by the absolute simplicity of what could loosely and highly accurately be called their pure rock fury.
‘Unknown Awareness’ is the sound of a band at one with themselves. It is the creative peak of this album: drums beat ritually and announce the arrival of a riff so beautiful and gargantuan that it needs be the only one in the whole song. It says so much with so little, and so hair raisingly well, that no others are necessary. The liquid guitar lick that trickles over the top of it is as beautiful a Fender twin tributary as you will ever hear. It’s the most mature thing on here, and if their next album is full of gear like this we will be worshipping at the feet of Gods.
They very nearly equal it when ‘Only One’ slams into it’s almost Today Is The Day wail-drenched truncheon fest, before ‘Perception’ darkens things down again. So essentially what we have here is an album with two very distinct feels. One, the hoary rock that will appeal to fans of the usual suspects, being Baroness, Torche, Today Is The Day, Boris and Melvins in no particualr order of evil. Two, a dark and more tingling mixture of Russian Circles, You Judas and dare I mention even Swans, hinting toward a future that looks almost more intriguing than even this excellent slab.
Ciaran Tracey (Metal Ireland)