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Kayo Dot - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.70 | 167 ratings

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3 stars Choirs of the Eye, Kayo Dots debut album, was a large departure from the music of the bands predecessor maudlin of the Well, and a hugely successful one at that, but Toby Driver posseses anything but a stagnent imagination and the band has once more moved on. The results this time, however, are quite a mixed bag.

Frustration is the word that comes to mind to describe this album. Half of it is captivating, rocking, beautiful, calm, dissonant, melodic and many other adjectives that could probably fill this review on there own, in short an emotional rollercoaster that never fails to leave me on a high. The problem is its just the half of it. The first half to be precise. The second half touches on the emotions of the first, but doesnt quite reach the same heights and for large swayths brings in elements that I really, really dont care for.

Of the five tracks on this album, its the first three (Gemini Becomeing the Tripod, Immortelle and Paper Carravelle and Aura on an Asylumn Wall) that capture me fully. Gemini... sounds something like a continuation of the music from Choirs of the Eye, however it quickly becomes apparant that Post-Rock has become a major part of the music. Its this that has lead to the long time (and in my opinion errant) labelling of Kayo Dot as a Post-Metal band, but its only one aspect of the music and, though I am by no means a fan of the Post-Rock genre, its been used exceptionally well here. Immortelle... is the first Kayo Dot song to be completely devoid of metal, and as an experiment into the direction that Driver would eventually take the band, it works fantastically. Its one track were dissonance isnt called on too much and instead makes way for a clamer melody building slowly but surely to a moment of triumph. Aura... is an unuseul track in that it sounds the closest to Choirs of the Eye Kayo Dot of any of the first three tracks, but also sounds fairly different due to the fact that metal is pretty much missing from here as well. The sound can be charecterised as a heavy rock, where the heavyness comes from the tones of the bass, guitar, violin and trumpet rather than the distortion, except for the last minute orso which gets pretty close to being metal, but is entirely dominated by the heaviest bass guitar sound I have ever heard. In a way it works as a paired down version of The Manifold Curiosity, so its no surprise that this is my favourite track on the album.

From here on out its where the band lost me for one simple, but very important reason: they introduced drone music as a major element. Both __on Limpid Form and Amaranth the Peddler start out in a similar vein to the first three tracks, but around the 6 to 7 minute mark they veer off into a drone that lasts well over half of each song. Though I've heard plenty of arguments for the development present in these tracks, I dont hear it at all. ..Limpid Form has the same crashing guitar chords going for most of the songs and the work done over the top of this comes of as noodily, and a hald hearted attempt to liven things up. The live version of this song condenses things down a lot and adds direction to it all that just isnt present here. Amaranth is just plain noodily for most of the song and lacks cohesivness, but at least some of the things they try sound interesting.

I think by now its become clear that drone music does not sit well with me at all. As I said earlier, frustration is a the word I'd use to sum up this album because thats the overiding emotion following a complete run-through ( I must admit most times that I play this album now, I skip past the endings of the last two songs), which is a huge shame because the first three songs are of an exceptional quality, to a level that most bands could only dream of, but is followed by tedium that actually last for more than half the album. Still very much worth having for those first 3 songs.

sleeper | 3/5 |


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