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“This is weird; it’s not bad but not very good either. It’s just really weird”. That’s what everyone says every time when I put this record on to let one of my friends hear it. Actually, that’s what I thought as well with the first couple of times I heard it. I still think it’s a strange record, and it’s not bad and not good; it’s fucking brilliant. This is probably THE most “out there” band on the planet right now, with the most original, powerful and best music at the moment. I know it’s quite a statement but it’s a lie not to say so.
I discovered Kayo Dot when they were on the #1 of 2006 spot on Rate your Music early this year. It’s not there anymore, and I understand a lot of people have serious problems with music like this, but it should be since there is nothing better than this release. I later discovered their other release as well which I think is a little more conventional but heavier and perhaps more easy-listening. It’s actually quite hard to compare both records as they sound completely different yet the band has kept its sound.
Dowsing anemone with copper tongue starts of with one of the most tear jerking songs ever. Their singer Toby Driver wails, screams, cries and creams some more as the song continues and in some weird kind of way it builds and build into this strange climax with dropping guitars and a melody through it. The album goes on with some weird noises that go on for a couple of minutes. It’s like they need some time to actually find each other and when they do it results in one of the albums finest moments. Toby starts singing again and for 2 minutes the album opens itself like a beautiful flower which is loved by everyone only to close again a wail in the darkness. It does never get heavy in this song and it’s mostly strange and atmospheric but quite powerful nonetheless. After 9 minutes the third song starts. It’s start with immediate singing from Toby and a pretty strange rhythm but it doesn’t last for long because a jazzy saxophone takes over Toby’s vocals into a lovely solo. After the solo the instruments just swirl around each other for some time resulting into some of the most memorable jazz parts I have ever heard. In time the instruments speed up. Faster, faster and faster until they result into some very bleak minimal grindcore part with Toby screaming his lungs off!
Half of the album is done now, but the most extreme part is yet to come and you don’t have to wait very long I promise you. The beast continues with the monstertrack ___On Limpid Form and I promise you’ll some more: this is the scariest most horrible track ever. The first 5 minutes are the most beautiful on the entire disc and quite possibly the most beautiful minutes ever. They are like the jazzy parts in the previous songs with some beautiful vocals on top of them, an amazing guitarsolo and great rhythm guitars and drums. But after some 4,5 minutes, things get weirder and a little more interesting and 5 minutes in the song the instruments are completely gone. What is left are the drums, almost random guitardrops and a load of feedback resulting in one of the most unlistenable things ever. It may be unlistenable, horrible and god knows what but it sure sets a mood and it sure is pretty scary tripping on this stuff. This might be the best and worst part of the album, that’s a paradox I know, but Kayo Dot isn’t your everyday band which by now is pretty clear I assume. At the end of the song you’re left there; completely insane, tired and freaked out to say the least. The next track starts with some 30 seconds of intro ticking on the cymbals to give you a little break. But it isn’t much since then a weird very low noise comes on which makes you think, hmmm what the hell was that. The low stuff continues into some weird almost drone part but it never gets heavy again. I’m actually glad for it since I have enough after that fourth song. The violin gets into the song and set’s the vibe and after 4 minutes of weird noises Toby finally gives us some of those sweet vocals again. The song stays very calm for the entire time but there are so many layers and so many things going all it never gets boring. The vocals stop after 2,5 minutes or so and the album closes itself again. The song never gets of the ground anymore but it just dissolves into some weird noises which sometimes make a whole but most of the times just fly around each other. The album closes now and ends after a full hour.
This album is a journey which is isn’t understandable after 1 or not maybe after 20 listens but explains itself more and more when you’ll get familiar with it. I myself have listened to it to death for some 10 months and now I finally reviewed it. I’d rate it a full 100/100 but I’m still not done with it and I wonder if I’ll ever be.
Written for musicmademe.com