Thursday, January 8, 2015
Kindling "Spike and Wave" on Moon Sounds Records
When trying to tie all music together I like to think you could make the case that psych provided a lot of the foundation for shoegaze. Pedal technology and a reaction to punk turned those swirling jams twenty years later into new dense walls of sound. Kindling from Easthampton, MA completed their contemporary take on that era with vocalist Gretchen's breathy blanket and more guitar than should be humanly possible. They've created a perfect balance that makes me hope they are working on a full length of this stuff after putting these four impressive tracks on for the past few days.
"Other Times" doesn't waste a quarter rotation before exploding with a massive, towering muffle that slides into heavy layered shoegaze with the treble so buried I'm only catching hints of it from the needle sound coming off the turntable, what's left to amplify is pure low end distortion. It's the perfect blanket of sound of Ride but with an indie jangle of late '90s Swirlies/Galaxie style density. (Also from Mass...) It also shouldn't go without saying that they could have searched for years and spent untold dollars for Gretchen's vocal and it would have been completely worth it.
"Sunspots" keeps this blast of energy up and it's an almost hardcore sounding shoegaze with atmospheric floating vocal ranking up there with some of the the best under appreciated similar bands I've heard like Canyons of Static, Wildhoney or Soccer Mom (Also from Mass...). This one has a poppier jump and melody that barely appears out of this fog like the best Swirlies B-Sides. You can almost hear the reverb echo bounces and how far this has been buried. A chorus vocal sound harmonizes with that voice from the heavens - are there even drums? Barely.
B-Side's "Given" has rising bending chords that climb right up the scale into another strangely melodic track. I say strange because you couldn't actually transcribe any specific notes. It's changing and the rhythm is cycling back it's just messing with how long you can hold onto that last note. What can you pick out of this wall is entirely up to you. I wouldn't be surprised if people heard this completely differently when asked to recall this. Brilliant. Making me want to go listen to m b v. "A Return" is the Kevin Shields style contribution, the lower end more minimal style guitar and male vocal this time both working opposite each other somehow making sense. Gretchen joins in for the Swirlies dynamic again and again that back and forth is priceless in this genre. Couldn't have planned this any better. Fits the cold northeastern blizzard of the past few days. Screw you California.
Fantastic record, a solid bet I'll be remembering this come this next December. Already putting it in the 2015 pile. Way too unassuming of a sleeve and blank center label for how ornate and complex this comes off. RECORDED AT HOME??!! Jesus.
Solid lavender seems to be sold out from Moon Sounds Records pick it up from the band.