Kinski in 'not chaotic enough' shock!
Nick Reynolds 2007-08-16
Kinski come from Seattle. They play guitar instrumentals: a potent mix of Black Sabbath riffola, Spaghetti Western twang and Sonic Youth mayhem. This is their third album for Sub Pop. But, while the tag line for it might be 'new, improved with added vocals!', I’m not sure if they are going forwards or backwards.
The first track “Cry Baby Blowout” offers up some bracing whirling fretboard mania while “Plan Steal Drive” is the best track: good and heavy with a riff as old as the hills building into a pile driving finale.
Before now Kinski have been largely vocal free. But on this album guitarist Chris Martin sings on three tracks. But don’t panic. Martin’s contributions are tasteful, and the best of the three vocal tracks is “Passwords & Alcohol” where his lyrics capture that slightly stoned, out of kilter feel which marks Kinski at their best.
The trouble is that with a singer on board, for example on “Punching Goodbye Outfront” Kinski are in danger of sounding just like any other band. “Argentina Turner” plods along, low on inspiration. “Child Had To Catch A Train” features an unwelcome addition to Kinski’s sound: a Hammond organ wittering away. It brings back unpleasant flashbacks of Deep Purple at their worse. “Silent Biker Type” also features this unwanted organ, which tips the musical balance from brooding menace into overwrought melodrama, although the guitar feedback on this track is enjoyably brutal.
To be honest I prefer Kinski’s previous album, Alpine Static. Kinski have tightened up their songs and sound and introduced some new ideas. But I don’t like the new ideas as much as the old ones. Up above, it’s not chaotic enough.