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Kayo Dot - Coyote CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.81 | 198 ratings

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2 stars You want a challenge? Try for yourself, you might actually think it is good?

I just have to be honest. At the risk of receiving hate mail from my esteemed colleagues, I can only say that this is an acquired taste and it was a taste that was bitter as far as I am concerned. I am not going to jump on the bandwagon and state this is a masterpiece like so many here. Apparently it is supposed to grow on you. It did the opposite for me. At first i was amazed. Then I hated it. There is no analysis of why it doesn't appeal to me. I simply like to be entertained by music and this has the opposite effect. We all come from different backgrounds and some music was simply not designed for us. I can see that even this review will draw people to hear Coyote just to see why I am writing this.

I was disturbed from the first wailing and off kilter drums with bizarre embellishments of violins that are played out of sync, arhythmically and out of tune. A cry that sounds like someone spat in his socks says 'Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp me Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'm disappearing?. The doors are breathing?.. remiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind meeeeeeeeee?.. if I'm not saaaaaaaaaying anythiiiiiiiiiing?.. there's just sooooooooooooooooooo much I caaaaaaaaan saaaaaaaaaay?. I feeeeeel misplaaaaaaced" Honestly, that's what it sounds like. Just sustained wailing, no melody, chanting how he feels, which is pretty depressed and miserable, down in the dumps. The band just wallow in misery, even bring their own streamers to the party and they invite us to join in their misery. This is challenging beyond description. It sounds like a bunch of college students tuning up, or sitting in a studio and just playing anything they can without unity. There is no unification in melody or sound. Yet there is an aim, to be out of the box... OK they achieve this. They not only jump out of the box, they blow the box to pieces and we are hit by the shrapnel of cadence, meandering, tuneless drivelling multi instrumentation and blaring atonal bass nuances. Everything is totally off, and it is at first fascinating, and then becomes annoying, and then becomes depressing.

The lyrics are bleak, such as "I feel sick here?." The woodwind constantly competes with drums that just crash sporadically, the violins screech random dissonant chords. They are perhaps the worst thing about the music. At the end I felt depressed and I don't listen to music to feel depressed. Maybe this would speak to me if I were going through a break up or lost my job or a loved one passed away or I gave my soul away, but life is not like that for me. I can't relate to dark depressing sonnets and don't really want to subject my ears to hearing from the jaded warped minds of such musicians. I didn't like Soft Machine's 'Third' for the same reasons. The music is dissonant and doesn't hang together by any semblance of a thread or even a melody. The repetitious chords are actually a breath of fresh air at times as at least it begins to feel like a song. The fusion or anti fusion of instruments is astonishing. Drums crash out of time, pianos jangle randomly and in the case of Abyss Hinge we have sonic blasts of noise and some quaint sax or trumpets. Perhaps this is the best track on the album. It was kind of fun to listen to all these instruments competing together.

Cartogram Out of Phase, can't make it's mind up if it wants to be a jazz fusion piece, the crawling drum time sig, the Miles Davis trumpets, the shimmering organ are always competing, the disunity is criminal. The vocals are just miserable and despairing, "and the moon has disappeared?. I'm out of the room of my mind? with a perfect shade of love?. Filling and tolling my heart?." Or something like that. It is quite a feat of endurance to get through this.

In the title track, there are one syllable lyrics that cry from the depths of the soul and the gut wrenching music is nauseating beyond belief. It just blasts away fluidly and yet out of sync. I kind of liked the first track as a curio of RIO. As a one off it is fine but not a whole album of this. It's not even as accessible as Zappa. I can see how this appeals, as its brave, its challenging, its like nothing else out there, but it is simply not entertaining. Your parents may hate this. As a parent I would cry if my children were listening to this. There's so much better and more positive prog out there.

I guess what makes prog so great is that it encompasses such a wide range of music. Not everything will appeal and not everything is going to be deemed a masterpiece although a majority might say it is. The rest of us remain in our quiet place ignoring this type of music so the only people who review RIO curios like this are those who actually like the genre. I can never like this genre, but Maudlin of the Well is still superb, so Toby Driver is really experimenting with the genre. I really liked Part The Second but not the animal called Coyote. I won't go on. I know that not everything has to be upbeat but Coyote is drab and disturbing. You have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this. Bleaker than Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and I would prefer that band any day as they are much more compelling and fascinating.

2 stars for the sheer bleak atmosphere generated. But I won't be returning to this.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |


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