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What Are You Listening to? by The Kinison

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Reviewed on 13th December 2004.


What Are You Listening to?

By The Kinison

Chillingly amazing first song, lads ('The Farm and The Girls'). OoooooOoooOoohh! That was a shudder, that was. Combining a strange, squealing petroleum beauty with the blood-curdling screams of Tolkein's ringwraiths, The Kinison's music is much like their artwork - the sleeve confronts you with some petrifying laboratory concoction or other of a skull, some ribs, fishbones, drugs and images of drowning superimposed onto each other in sunny yellow, happy fuschia pink, and deep, sumptuous purple colours. A balance has been struck, methinks, between beauty in life and horror in death. Or, perhaps, just 'beauty in death', underlined by the spookily angelic vocals on 'Lake Calmern Is Full Now' juxtaposed against throttling steel strings.

On 'Oh Boy That Girl Can Move', the singer is either seriously sexually excited or in the process of turning into a werewolf, such is his incredible, ultrasonic acid river of a shriek. There are enough magma-chamber rumbling riffs to keep the metal-lovers happy and plenty of pummelling, tuneful West Coast sherbert 'n' Sunny D energy to keep the skaterboi fellas pleased as punch too. What with the feedback hurricane swirling up through 'You Kissed Lilly', some sublimely filthy chord changes and the dexterous, spewing guitars sprayed out over this album, The Kinison have hit upon a solid foundation. However, nothing is more impressive than the first track, which paves the way for a bit of a lacklustre and deflating let down during the rest of the record.

Interesting song titles, too. 'Every Genius Has Their Hang-Ups', anyone? 'You'll Never Guess Who's Dead', perhaps? Well, certainly not any member of this band, that's for sure - they're so alive and kicking that I'm convinced they must have recently mainlined California's electricity grid.

Prettily ugly.



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