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Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.67 | 106 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Kayo Dot. This band is such an anomaly in so many ways for me. In 2013, they released the classless, pointless "Hubardo", which I still feel is more of an experiment in cacophony than in actual music. They have rebounded, however, with 2014's "Coffins on Io", an album with a title that caught my interest to some degree.

The album features much the same list of performers as "Hubardo", with the notable exception of Mia on violin. I actually wasn't sure how to process that. Anyways, the band consists of Toby Driver on vocals, bass, synths, electric percussion, and guitars; Ron Varod on guitars; Daniel Means on saxophones, synths, and electric percussion; and Keith Abrams on drums and electric percussion. You may have noticed that electric percussion is pretty popular, and you would be correct. This new album from Kayo Dot is an electronic, bassy affair that harkens back to the 80s in some ways. The main difference between the last album and "Coffins on Io" is the fact that actual song structures and melodies are present. Some people have even likened this album's sound to Riverside, but I think that is unwarranted. Ultimately, however, the album has a droning sound to it that is mostly accompanied by some down-turning melodies and stark atmospheres. Some of the tracks, such as my favorite "Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22", are honestly quite beautiful in a weird, blunt way; almost as if we are listening to this album by candlelight somehow, if that makes any sense.

I was so happy that the band decided to make actual songs this time. I rather enjoyed the off-key sounds and edgeless sensibilities of this album. While the band returns to the style I despise here and there in the second half of this album, the album as a whole is genuinely interesting, beautifully different, and strange in the best of ways. I still can't commit and call this an excellent album, but "Coffins of Io" is definitely good and worth hearing.

Second Life Syndrome | 3/5 |


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