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Kettlespider - Avadante CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.90 | 91 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Burke and Hare's Backyard

I heartily loathe what I call parochial aesthetics i.e. proximity to the source as a measure of artistic worth. Where does this skew-whiff madness end? Citizens of London are expected to bask in the reflected glory of their adopted sons William Blake, Bobby Moore, Christopher Wren and Francis Bacon while the reflected gore of the Krays, Jack the Ripper and Dr Crippen are quite appropriately, disowned but with less anguish than would be considered decent. If the premise that we law abiding but talentless souls created the conditions to allow these magnificent artists to thrive and prosper is taken on board, prepare to walk the gangplank dear readers provided by say, Glasgow whose Bible John, Arthur Thompson and sectarian murder razor gangs all survived despite the backdated encouragement extended to the Simple Minds, Alasdair Gray, Billy Connolly and James MacMillan. Cut to the chase: those things that make living worthwhile exist in spite of the prevailing societal conditions at any given time.'Twas ever thus and enrolling people in educational establishments designed to produce a surfeit of what is by definition scarce will only produce floods of tears. Does anyone remember the Hue and Cry for Love and Money? (Thought not)

Word to the wise Kettlespider, ditch the wanky artwork which has the snot haired Gothic angel in a wedding dress raising her right hand (read GOOD, it ain't carrying a hammer or a syringe) towards the hospitalised coma victim she is presumably offering succour to. Wouldn't she be better deployed by smacking that creepy little dude dangerously nearer the pillow who is thus protected from the one supernatural being unable to negotiate the obstacle of a window innit? (Go Around, Go Around) I was pestered incessantly by an Australian female fan of this band to review this album in PA under the delusion that my snide prose would raise the group's profile mate? She clearly neglected to do her homework as Prog has never been about profile or appearing on the hottest f*ckwit's chat show i.e. you exist and are viable in spite of prevailing market conditions. Country retreats and sportscar collecting were funded by Prog only from 1969 to 1974 tops so enjoy the little family hatchback and commanding views of the labour exchange instead and just count your blessings. I like Kettlespider hugely as they clearly consider both Metal and Prog brands as completely irrelevant to being working musicians in 2012. They can eat and live in the current economic climate regardless of how their music is presented, packaged or categorised: Fuck PA gentlemen, you are self evidently an anachronism deserving of no further comment.

Avadante occasionally betrays the tender years of both the players and their contemporaneous inspiration from the likes of Mogwai, Miriodor and late Radiohead yet they never quite plant both feet onto Avant soil but instead step back into a predominantly more traditional and bombastic realm redolent of Areknames, Rush, Haken or (gulp) earlier Radiohead. A particularly attractive and refreshing facet of this band is their lack of self consciousness when utilising timbres that carry way too much referential baggage for the Avant crowd i.e. Kettlespider are not afraid to sound like a Rawk band and can be heard quite unashamedly and joyfully getting down and dirty with it on Avadante This is clearly 'programme' music in that it smacks of having a linear narrative at it's source (but as to what such a tale or design could be, I'm none the wiser without tell tale sung lyrics) Personally I rather like instrumental records from the Prog stable as things can go rapidly downhill whenever an Anderson, Sinfield or Lake open their stallion hearts via their gelding mouths on an expectant world.

Seeing as though I'm a sad and pitiable 50 year old man I cannot avoid pointing out that the guitar riff deployed on the last track Reflections is identical to The Puppet by Echo and the Bunnymen. Kettlespider being youthful Australians, found this revelation baffling and amusing and I now live there, so draw your own conclusions because they cannot reasonably be expected to give a discarded fig about my formative years and vice versa. Challenging and sumptuous instrumental rock music that never resorts to 'bums on seats' economics. Kettlespider have a justifiable contempt for our counterfeit nostalgia for events that never occurred in the first place. You can hear their lineage quite clearly in the textures, grooves and moods at play on Avadante and although healthily irreverent, they have sufficient nous to respect those elements of the past untarnished by the vagaries of fickle fashion. I am not a fan of metal in any of it's infinite variations on an incredibly small theme, but would recommend this album to anyone with an open mind and a taste for a wide variety of stylistic avenues.

ExittheLemming | 4/5 |


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