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Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.67 | 106 ratings

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4 stars Kayo Dot is one of those bands known for changing their tune with every album, but arguably never more so than with Coffins on Io. The band's pre-release description of the album as "80s retro-future noir? Blade Runner... a good record to put on while you drive across the desert at night under a toxic, post-apocalyptic atmosphere" is absurdly accurate- this is a dark, openly 80s influenced record, with little of the usual post-metal and jazz influenced sounds more familiar to the band's listeners. Much has also been made of it being probably the most accessible Kayo Dot album, with the emphasis being placed squarely on Driver's greatly melodic and clean vocals, a shift away from the trend of vocals on earlier KD albums being merely another part of the instrumental soundscape. The instrumentation is usually greatly restrained, in the tradition of 80s pop, and is often straightforward on the surface, being rhythm & riff-driven, albeit in a dark and twisted way. The songs themselves are almost always characterised by shorter vocal sections (some- 'Offramp Cycle'- even in verse-chorus form!) followed by long instrumental vamps, which are usually repetitive and feature little to no soloing, additions or changes, meaning they sometimes overstay their welcome. The biggest exception to that latter point is the highlight & centrepiece track 'Library Subterranean', in which the vamp upon a synth-drenched riff continually shifts and builds to a sax solo.

If previous Kayo Dot albums have been too obscure and difficult to get into for you, or you're a particular fan of dark, minimalist 80s pop a la Peter Gabriel, try this one out. A fantastic and atmospheric, if slightly flawed, album.

Kazza3 | 4/5 |


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