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Kingston Wall - Kingston Wall I CD (album) cover

KINGSTON WALL I

Kingston Wall

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.38 | 57 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The adventure begins.

Sinkadotentree, one of my many prog gurus at this site, turned me on to KW's buzz a while back, wisely guiding me towards the excellent 2nd album first. Now I think I know why. The first KW album is an exercise in patience, often boring, long-winded, sometimes like nails-on-a-chalkboard frustration to this listener.

First up, the difference in the songwriting quality between KW1 and KW2 is striking. Whereas 2 had some elegant, haunting, perfectly crafted pieces of jamming bliss, KW1 lacks maturity and quite often any discernible focus. To make a comparison to Red Hot Chili Peppers, a band not so far from the KW universe: If KW2 is spiritually comparable to Blood Sugar Sex Magic, then KW1 would probably be The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. I'm not saying I mind craziness, youthful exuberance, or even all out musical debauchery.hell, I love it.if it works. On Kingston Wall-1 it doesn't work for the most part. There are flashes of the juicy steak that will follow on the next album but expect to have your endurance tested to find them. My favorite part of this album is listening to the gonzo-ass skins beating of Sami Kuoppamaki, one of thee finest jam-band drummers you will ever hear. But the songs aren't there and frankly it is Petri who has not caught up with Sami and Jukka at this point. "With My Mind" starts the album in hangover mode as the band sounds a bit lethargic and bleak. Even bassist Jukka complains about lame cover of Hendrix's Fire. Petri was sadly wasting no time dropping the lyrical hints this early of the state of his mind, which would eventually cost him his life. Here he sings "I've got this bad taste in my mouth and in my soul.some kind of tribulation strangles my mind.it makes me wonder do I have much more time." By the time we get to "Waste of Time" and "Nepal" the band has woken up and peaked. Expect some breathtaking fills from Sami and occasional flashes of soul from Petri, but if you compare the best moments here side by side with the next album I think you'll see my point. And that leads us to the 21 minute 8-part super epic "Mushrooms." Close to the Edge it is not. If you can make it through part 7 "More Mushrooms" and get to part 8 "The Answer" you will enjoy one of the album's finer moments, a heavy yet peaceful climax before the fade-out again hinting at better things to come.

I strongly, I repeat, strongly suggest you begin your Kingston Wall adventure with their 2nd album. Depending on the degree of your appreciation for that one, you will know if you need to backtrack to their garage days for KW1, proceed to the "Maharishi moment" of their final album, or stop altogether. Two stars isn't meant as disrespect for the late Mr. Walli, but as my sincere feeling that despite good moments this is not a good album and that it is mostly "for the fans." 2 1/2 stars.

Finnforest | 2/5 |

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