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KINGSTON WALL

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland


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Kingston Wall biography
This psych-rock trio inspired by the inventive guitar play of Petri Walli was formed in Helsinki in 1987. After a change of drummer, the permanent line-un consisted of Walli on guitar and vocals, new drummer Sami Kuoppamäki and bassist Jukka Jylli. Their influences are noticeably of the LED ZEP/ JIMI HENDRIX kind but they did manage to bring something new to the "stoner rock" sound. Releasing all of their albums on their own label (Trinity), they never really made it big but had a small cult following in Finland and Estonia. By the end of 1994, six months after the release of their third album, it seemed they were on the verge of breaking through when their leader, Walli, committed suicide by jumping off a church tower. That spelled the end for the band.

Their first album is perhaps their rawest whereas "Kingston Wall II", their most accomplished, features broader, more exotic textures, even some acoustic guitar. Also, the instrumental interplay is given freer reign than on the first album, allowing the pieces to stretch out more. It treats the listener to a variety of moods: soaring guitar pieces, quiet violin, LED ZEP-like blues and high-octane jamming. With the album "Tri-Logy", the band somewhat tried to distance themselves from hard-rock. It still features plenty of acid guitar but also includes drum machines; an interesting concept but perhaps not quite as convincing as "KW II". A word of caution: a fourth CD entitled "Freakout Remixes" was released in 2000. Don't expect to hear KW's fine play here: this is a kind of tribute by various artists who did a techno/trance remix of the band's material.

"Kingston Wall II" should appeal to fans of LED ZEPPELIN, PINK FLOYD, JIMI HENDRIX and JEFF BECK.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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III Tri-LogyIII Tri-Logy
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KINGSTON WALL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KINGSTON WALL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 57 ratings
Kingston Wall I
1992
4.10 | 95 ratings
Kingston Wall II
1993
4.06 | 64 ratings
Tri-Logy
1994

KINGSTON WALL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 14 ratings
Real Live Thing
2005

KINGSTON WALL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KINGSTON WALL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 3 ratings
Freakout Remixes
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
King Size Box
2011

KINGSTON WALL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Real Thing Radio Edit
1994

KINGSTON WALL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.10 | 95 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sometimes a band comes along which gets lavished with praise but, when you come along to see what all the fuss is about, they just plain fail to win you over. That's how Kingston Wall are for me. I guess they're good at lifting motifs and techniques from Pink Floyd and the Ozric Tentacles, but what results are bland Ozrics-esques jams littered with Floydisms learned by rote. I guess if you are hopelessly addicted to Floyd-derived space rock this could tickle that itch, but for me there's simply nothing exciting to write home about here. Not incompetent, but hardly essential either, I'd say this deserves two and a half stars (tack on a half star if you're a Floyd fan).

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 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.10 | 95 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by PolarWolf

5 stars As their debut album already proved, Kingston Wall was at their best in long songs full of jamming. And their second album is full of those. The exceptionally good guitar- (Petri Walli) and drumwork (Sami Kuoppamäki) are the reasons why this album takes you to the higher grounds.

The album starts with the wonderful hard-rocking rush of "We Cannot Move" and continues to beautiful instrumental sweep of "Istwan", both songs full of eastern influences. "Shine on Me" later on the album is arguably Kingston Wall's definite masterpiece. It's a haunting song where Walli's guitar-playing and singing is backed magnificently with saxophone. The 10-minute epic, "You", is almost as good. Worth a mention is also the Donna Summer(!) -cover "I Feel Love", a disco-hit turned into psychedelic, hypnotizing progressive rock.

A truly wonderful album and strongly recommended for the lovers of guitar-based psychedelic rock.

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 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.38 | 57 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by PolarWolf

4 stars As the cover art expresses the Eastern influence is very strong on this album (and other Kingston Wall albums as well). The music can be categorized as psychedelic progressive rock and has influences from Zeppelin, Hawkwind, Hendrix, and some Pink Floyd can be heard as well. Still I think the overall sound and atmosphere is very unique, created mostly by shamanic and intense guitarwork of Petri Walli and decorative, improvisational drumming of Sami Kuoppamäki. The actual songs are not as interesting, they're more like frames for the exceptional playing and psychedelia. Which doesn't mean that the album would be only to show off their skills - it is a very good psychedelic rock album to dive into.

The best songs of the album are "With My Mind", Hendrix-cover "Fire", "Waste of Time" and "Nepal". Also the trippy and a bit silly Mushrooms-suite is worth mentioning, though it's not very strong as a whole. It seems that Kingston Wall is at their best in long, epic songs with much room to improvise. The vocal melodies are not particularly good, maybe due to Petri Walli's limited singing skills. Still they work well enough at least in the aforementioned four songs.

A very promising debut album and is not much weaker than their best work, (the next album: "II").

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 Tri-Logy by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 64 ratings

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Tri-Logy
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Midnight Lightning

4 stars I guess Petri Walli was going for a philosophical concept album here. On the one hand, this gives the album the feel of a very complete and unified work that flows really well, but on the other hand it makes it a bit samey, it took me several listens before I could easily tell all the songs from one another. Pretty much all the songs are synth-laden rock with a bunch of overdubbed electric guitars with all sorts of effects. The exceptions that to me stand out the most though are Time and Welcome to the Mirrorland. I think the latter has the only small acoustic guitar part on the album, and it focuses very much on the didgeridoo, jew harp and some tribal drumming. Speaking of the didgeridoo and jew harp, they're featured quite a lot on the album, which is great for me, it reminds me of Goa trance.

Petri's guitar chops seem to have actually improved since their second album, many of his riffs and solos are just breathtaking. I'm the King I'm the Sun and Time are probably my favorite songs here. Another highlight for me is Stuldt Hajt, which is the closest they get to Goa trance. But really pretty much any time Petri touches the guitar is a highlight. Can't fault any of the other musicians either, very impressive drumming and bass guitar, not to mention the sax on The Real Thing. One slight downside is that in my opinion some of the songs suffer from being perhaps necessary for the concept but not adding too much musically, especially Alt-Land-Is.

Not as diverse and consistent as KWII, but perhaps has even higher highs. I really love it, but I wouldn't call it essential, so four stars.

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 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.38 | 57 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Back in the early 90's it was hard to keep track of all the bands that tried to find rock stardom by following in Jane's Addiction's footsteps. That band had paved the way towards a renewed interest in 70's heavy psych progressive jamming and they inspired many bands to rock out again and fire up the old psych vibe with flashy funky playing and heavy bouncing rock beats.

While pleasant, Kingston Wall's debut lacks the songwriting necessary to make things memorable. In fact, the adoration of Led Zeppelin is so high that they almost sound like a tribute band, not dissimilar from those German heavy rockers of Kingdome Come, be it with a more psychedelic edge.

And when that psychedelic elements take the fore, we're facing quite an enjoyable band that welcomes more influences then just Led Zeppelin. Standout tracks would be Waste of Time, Nepal and I Hear You Call, which was my introduction to the band back in 92. Also Tanya maintains the Eastern-tinged mood nicely, but then the overambitious Mushroom destroys the momentum of the album.

A worthy debut but with too few outstanding moments to keep my interest going. In fact, before SinkaMellotronDotenStormTree reminded me about this band's second album, I hadn't listened to this since 93.

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 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.10 | 95 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by I Love Internet

5 stars My second review and Kingston Walls second album.

Kingston Wall is my favorit band from my home country. This album is often considered to be their best and I agree with the common opinion in this case - athough their last album ain´t really worse than this. This album is filled with great musicianship and excellent compositions. Sami Kuoppamäki on drums and Jukka Jylli bass both give a spot on performance on this album. Sami´s drumming drives the songs forward with such huge energy and Jukka puts out a bunch of really nice bass grooves. And once we place Petri Walli´s stellar guitar playing on top of this we have the best Finnish album of the 90´s. I sometimes hear people saying bad things about Petri´s singing, and while I would agree that he certainly ain´t a technically proficient singer - I still thing his voice suits the music perfectly and that he knows how to make the most of his vocal abilities.

For me this album carries a great amount of positive energy even in the slower songs. I will recommend this album to just about everyone wandering around on the site. This is some of the best psychedelic rock made.

As for influences, if you think of a mix of Pink Floyd, Hendrix and Zeppelin you might get close to what this music is about, but I strongly suggest you check them out for yourself.

Without a doubt a 5 star master piece of progressive rock.

(don´t worry folks I will give smaller ratings as soon as I´m done with my favourites)

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 Tri-Logy by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 64 ratings

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Tri-Logy
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The journey ends for a psych-rock luminary.

On 28 June, 1995, Petri Walli climbed to the top of a church tower in Helsinki and jumped to his death. The uber talented guitarist and leader of Kingston Wall was 26 years old.

Bassist Jukka Jylli: "I think that was almost like Petri's solo album, this third one.it was really funny... because we didn't really have any idea what it will be... the result... Petri knew... we just tried to do our best. It was a very different album.Petri thought that the band was going to change somehow after this third album. Well, it changed because we split. I don't know what he actually wanted to do. He did not want to go on like before. So we released the album in autumn 1994 and I met Petri the last time on Christmas Eve, the same year... and then he went to India and after that I never saw him again. He tried to call me but I was not home. I was in the states. Shit happens..." [KW's Jukka Jylli, a brief excerpt from an interview by Scott Heller from Aural Innovations 4/99]

Kingston Wall came together in 1987 when Petri Walli convinced Jukka Jylli (over drinks) to call him back about starting a band. Jukka seemed less than thrilled about the talkative young man at the time but he made that call. Eventually the stars aligned and they picked up one of the most incredible drummer around, Sami Kuoppamaki. After playing live for some time they released their first spirited album in 1992, followed by their personal masterpiece KW2 a year later, and their mystifying swan-song KW3 (aka Trilogy) in 1994. They played their last gig on 6 December, 1994, and split up the next day. It was not clear that it was a permanent split though, perhaps more of a hiatus. Petri traveled to India after that as he was very interested in spiritual things. He is buried in Helsinki's Hietaniemi Cemetery, very close to the church where he took his life. Lyrics from all three albums, written by Walli, contain not-so-veiled messages about the state of his mind and speak openly of death. Some contend that the lyrics for "For All Mankind" from the final album are a suicide note in the form of a song lyric. (see below)

The first KW album is a rather rough and tumble affair. As mentioned, it is a spirited and occasionally fun musical equivalent of a car chase but it is not even in the same universe as the phenomenal second album. KW2 badly pummels the first album in every category you wish to compare: songwriting, playing, overall vision, overall wow-factor. The final album KW3 is somewhere in between from one perspective. But it is so different and bizarre that it's almost impossible to compare. While still retaining some of the psych-jam band glory of the first two album, the 3rd gets downright experimental at times via adventurous songwriting, way-out concepts, electronica, keyboards and sax, and a more studio album approach. The first two albums were essentially recorded live in the studio, often from material already road-tested, whereas the final album was the only true "studio" album according to Jylli. KW3 is an album that will irritate many fans of the second album's approachable, accessible sound. It will rock the boat and was likely intended to push buttons and challenge fans like groups often do when ready for a change. But for those who go in ready and willing for Walli's weirdest moments the album will still reward you.

The band charges furiously out of the gate with "Another Piece of Cake." Petri's very first solo sounds as aggressive and climactic as most album's showcase solo. Sami and Jukka are again as tight and brutal as Chad Smith and Flea. But as the track seques into "Welcome to the Mirrorland it becomes obvious this album is not a repeat of the last one. Strange, spacey loops of odd noises and synth gurgles fill out the landscape with Petri's voice taking on an otherworldy effect. "Take You to Sweet Harmony" embraces a little reggae with groovy echoed guitar wahs and a nice solo. "Get Rid of Your Fears" is a nice spacey guitar experiment with a heavy wall of bass. "Party Goes On" sounds like it indeed, a total psych-out with bizarre voices and instrumental cacophony. "Time" is the only track that sounds a bit serious, a bit sober as it laments the human condition over some laid back mode Hendrix guitar. And then there is "The Real Thing," another epic like "Mushrooms" from the first album, this one a tad leaner at 18 minutes. It's a better track as well, spanning a wide variety of moods and energies from quiet and spacey to balls out rock and roll. Mostly rock and roll with the power trio going for broke on every jam. With the best playing and even a killer long sax solo it is easily the stand-out track and a respectable, fitting farewell track for this amazing little band. The booklet is very cool with lots of cymbals and imagery that Petri was fond of. This is a good album but I still cannot call it essential. Once again I recommend the second album for anyone new to this band and if you like that, then perhaps move on and check out the other two.

As for the controversy about whether the lyrics of "For All Mankind" are Petri's farewell note to humanity, here's a couple lines, judge for yourself: "Look out world it's time to die.no more crying with my mind.when we'll sing no lullabies.and all of us have real eyes.the shaman seeds for all mankind.one day we will say goodbye.to all of them who live the time.no more need to compromise.balanced heart needs no disguise" [P. Walli]

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 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.38 | 57 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by 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.

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 Tri-Logy by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 64 ratings

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Tri-Logy
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by StyLaZyn

5 stars Quick review time. This is a great set of songs. Who are these guys? I want more and I guess based on the ratings of other albums I'll need to do just that! High energy and here's a word you don't get with Prog to often...funky. You have to get this one folks.

I just found another CD for my 45 minute commute.

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 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.38 | 57 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Jimsey

4 stars KW's debut album is their most accessible one. It is very easy to get into and understand, not to take anything away from the music itself. Here the Led Zeppelin/Jimi Hendrix influences are most visible (especially since there is a cover of 'Fire' included) but the playing stays progressive throughout. The album opener "With My Mind" has become a personal favorite of mine, accompanied by such tracks as "Used To Feel Before" and the beautifully moody "Waste Of Time". The rest of the album is evenly good as well, capped off by the 20+ minute "Mushrooms" epic which is split into 8 parts. The whole album has a light 'feel good'-vibe from start to finish, occasionally dipping into the deep and spiritual side.

There is something very mystical about the whole being of Kingston Wall. I believe this can be life changing music, all you really have to do is pay attention. The lyrics seem to have something infinitely wise in them and the playing is top-notch or dare I say, awe- inspiring. All 3 of Kingston Wall's albums are essential but their sound and music would soar to even greater heights later on.

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