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Kingston Wall

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Kingston Wall Kingston Wall I album cover
3.48 | 117 ratings | 14 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. With My Mind (4:39)
2. Used to Feel Before (4:02)
3. I'm Not the One (3:43)
4. Fire (2:58)
5. Waste of Time (6:26)
6. Nepal (8:37)
7. And I Hear You Call (4:55)
8. Tanya (3:51)
- Mushrooms (21:09):
9. I - Prelude (1:18)
10. II - On My Own (6:50)
11. III - The Weep (2:01)
12. IV - Mushrooms (3:04)
13. V - Circumstances (2:18)
14. VI - Captain Relief (2:15)
15. VII - More Mushrooms (2:07)
16. VIII - The Answer (1:16)

Total Time: 60:20

Bonus disc from 1998 Zen Garden double-CD SE:
1. Freak-Out Intro (Live) (2:13)
2. Purple Haze (Live) (3:43)
3. Call Me The Breeze (Live) (4:23)
4. Rocky Raccoon (Live) (3:44)
5. Western Plain (Live) (1:10)
6. Freak-Out Outro (Live) (3:54)

Total time 19:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Petri Walli / guitar, lead & backing vocals
- Jukka Jylli / bass, backing vocals, Egyptian horn (13)
- Sami Kuoppamäki / drums, percussion

With (Live):
- Pide Von Hertzen / percussion & backing vocals (bonus)
- Sakari Kukko / saxophone (bonus 6)

Releases information

ArtWork: Kie Von Hertzen

CD Trinity ‎- TTYCD 0002 (1992, Finland)
CD Zen Garden - GAR 16 (1998, Finland) Remastered by Pauli Saastamoinen & Robert Palomäki
2xCD Zen Garden ‎- GAR 16 (1998, Finland) Special edition bonus CD with Live recording from Kingston Wall Freak-Out Club at Live Marathon, Helsinki, Autumn -91

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy KINGSTON WALL Kingston Wall I Music

KINGSTON WALL Kingston Wall I ratings distribution

(117 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KINGSTON WALL Kingston Wall I reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This debut album of legendary Kingston Wall brought attention for both progressive and psychedelic music in Finnish media, as the band was quite successful and popular here. Though the main drive is on quite basic vintage hard rock orientation, the referred more underground tones are also certainly present, thus giving a pleasant surprise for band of such characteristics gaining fame in a land dominated by playlists and pop. Gigs on big rock festivals are possibly one promoting factor, but the fine quality of songs like "With My Mind", "Used to Feel Before" and "Waste of Time" redeem the expectations even without promotions with psych oriented guitar solos and catchy verses. "Nepal" dives further to surreal spheres reaching over eight minutes duration, its main rock passage rising from an Indian-oriented walls of sound, and then diving to waves of laid back parts with Hawkind reminding tones coloring the background.

I'm bit troubled by the cover version of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire", I guess the original version from The Experience is bit too sacred for me. This version is still quite good, being very similar to the original song, except that there is a small reggae arrangement at the end of it, which works well. The band also played this on their gigs along with the other tunes of the innovating guitar master. The biggest entity on the disc is "Mushrooms", which is over 21 min long epic. This fungus composition is built up from separate tracks, so the listener could navigate the different parts easily. There are some tighter rockier parts with singing, and long psychedelic instrumental jams. The beginning is promising, but I got bit bored during the fourth and fifth parts.

The Zen Garden re-issue of this album has a small bonus CD on it, which has a live recording from their gig at Marathon, Helsinki 1991. The sound quality is decent, but the singing isn't very audible. I also fear there are some edits (in and out fades) in it; For example the shift from the ethnic sound wall of "Freak-Out Intro" and the following Hendrix cover "Purple Haze" sounds unnatural. Other covers here are J.J.Cale's "Call Me The Breeze", Lennon/McCartney composition "Rocky Raccoon" and "Western Plain. To be frank, I felt these sounded quite repulsive redneck songs, and the good players didn't save them. Possibly the experience of these performings might have felt different from the audience, these expressions limited now only to their documents heard from the home stereo. And it is of course interesting to hear this band's live performances, as in my opinion they did their stuff more successfully on stage than at the studio. But I wouldn't recommend hunting the re-issue CDs just because of these bonus tracks.

I think there is much potential on this album, and I do not object it's meaning as an historical record for Finnish music scene. But to be honest, this album never grew very important for myself, and I never got much inspiration for listening to it. Most of the fine songs on this album worked better on their triple live CD in my opinion.

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 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.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Matti
2 stars This band cannot be ignored when dealing with the history of Finnish prog, as they were very popular and also some kind of pioneers in the early nineties, after the entire extremely anti- prog decade (if you thought prog was a rude word in Britain in the 80's, you should have seen what was it like in Finland!). After releasing a trilogy of albums the band came to a tragic end as their leader Petri Walli committed suicide by jumping down from a church tower (BTW, his biography was released this spring, only in Finnish, of course).

Anyway, this debut is quite single-mindedly considered as their least important album by prog listeners. There's an unquestionable psychedelic vibe especially in the 8-part suite 'Mushrooms', but this music is primarily HARD rock with a breathtaking drive and virtuotic intensity. KW were a power trio of guitarist-vocalist Walli, bassist Jukka Jylli and drummer Sami Kuoppamäki. The guitar style is fierce, descending from Jimi Hendrix and heavy rock legends and soaked in trippy psychedelia, and the rhythm section is equally sharp and powerful.

The world of hard rock - especially the Finnish one - has never been close to me. So it's no surprise that I am left mostly untouched by this album. But I really can't deny the extreme power in it. Approximately after the four earliest tracks, which are fast and rather similar to each other ('Fire' being a Hendrix cover), the psychedelic flavour starts to affect the listener. Nearly 9- minute 'Nepal' is effective, clearly one of the highlights. 'And I Hear You Call' has some Oriental (Turkish/Arabian) kind of melodies at first, like occasionally throughout the album, but hardly as much as the cover art would suggest.

It's the 21-minute 'Mushrooms' suite that crowns this hour-long album. What is perhaps lost in the adrenalin power, is gained in the depth of a proggier, epic-like songwriting. But don't expect too much of it, in fact here and there it feels a bit lost and pointlessly stretched. Speaking of the whole album, if this site was about hard rock instead of prog rock, I might give one star more.

Review by Modrigue
3 stars 3.5 stars

KINGSTON WALL's debut album shows a band in search of its identity. On the basis of 70's hard rock, like LED ZEPPELIN, the music incorporates middle-eastern and psychedelic / space rock touches. This first opus is the least progressive of the finnishs. It already contains some original elements, but they still need to be matured.

The seventies' hard rock "With My Mind" is an efficient opener. It has a cool psychedelic guitar solo but you can also hear grunge touches in it, proving that the finnishs brought something new to scene. "Used to Feel Before" is a direct poppy rocky song, while "I'm Not the One" is rather average and loud. The cover of JIMI HENDRIX's "Fire" is not bad but does not bring much novelty. It just makes you want to listen to the original version. The proggy "Waste of Time" is a varied but unequal song, with a chaotic psychedelic guitar solo.

The middle-eastern-ish melodies are more present on the second half of the disc. God examples are the nice and energic "And I Hear You Call" and "Nepal", they sometimes remind late 70's HAWKWIND, whereas the instrumental "Tanya" is slower. The 21 minutes "Mushrooms" is the most progressive passage of the record. Not very structured, this composition is rather a collage of various songs with different ambiances: mysterious, grunge, psychedelic rock in the style of GONG or freak 'n'roll jam. Lacking consistency, this suite is a bit odd and too long.

The middle-eastern theme suggested by the cover art is only half-respected (or maybe it's fully respected after all, because it pictures musicians just arriving to an unknown land on a magic carpet). However, despite a musical identity not enough matured, this first effort is refreshing and very promising. Needless to say that, during the early 90's and the explosion of grunge, rap and techno, it was not an easy task for a young band playing this type of music to emerge. That's a pity, because KINGSTON WALL is an underrated and lesser-known formation.

This album is definitely not the one to start with, but is nonetheless recommended to space and 70's hard rock fans.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The debut album one of Finland's major gifts to rock music: guitarist extraordinaire Petri Walli (the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix!) and his band KINSTON WALL.

1. "With My Mind" (4:39) nice wall of sound but the vocals feel lacking in authentic enthusiasm. Even some impressive lead guitar wah-pedal soloing can't really make up for the dullness of the rest of the song. (8.25/10)

2. "Used to Feel Before" (4:02) very bluesy, HENDRIX-like foundation for a rockin' song. Perhaps this is the song that planted the "the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix" seed in my brain--(though not the chorus). Definitely a late 60s blues-rock vibe going on here--Zeppelin or maybe even a little Black Sabbath; no, definitely Hendrix. (8.5/10)

3. "I'm Not the One" (3:43) another Hendrix-like tune with a BEASTIE BOYS-style choral vocal delivery. The guitar playing is smokin' hot but nothing really new or innovative--until the third minute when echo-guitar is accompanied by background crowd chatter noises. I wonder if Omar Rodriguez-Lopez ever heard Petri or the Wall's music before they formed The Mars Volta. (8.5/10)

4. "Fire" (2:58) an actual Hendrix cover! Petri does not (yet) have the vocal capacity to pull off a Hendrix song but in the guitar department he is making it his own! (8.5/10)

5. "Waste of Time" (6:26) again, the blues-rock bands of the 60s immediately come to mind--those bands who were exploring the loud, proto-"metal" sounds and styles at that time. Even the melodies feel and sound like that old era (Bowie, Spirit). The wild fourth and fifth minutes display the first exposition of the Wall's all-out, no-holds-barred excellence! This is rock excellent--the future of Kingston Wall! The band is playing so tight--as one! (8.75/10)

6. "Nepal" (8:37) a long intro of wah-pedal electric guitar soloing and crashing cymbals open the first 90 seconds of this before a structured song is actually established--one that is much more sedate and smooth that the opening would seem to indicate. Cool bird sounds coming from a second track of Petri's guitar. Again, the band feels pretty tight, pretty jazzed up--as if the album's first four songs were just warmups and now they're really fully engaged, fully entrained--though not quite as tight as the second half of that previous song. Petri is in the zone--going off into the cosmos--until surprisingly relinquishing the lead to the bass player. I love the psychedelia shouts and cryptic phrases in the background--and then he steps to the fore again--this time urging the bass and drum players to flash and shine at the same time. A little THIN LIZZY-like multi-instrumental regurgitation of the main melody before everybody crashes to the finish. (17.5/20)

7. "And I Hear You Call" (4:55) a decent song with an odd almost Caribbean feel to the rhythm tracks, yet the melodies feel almost Greek, while Petri's guitar showmanship pushes over the edge into new territories. (8.5/10)

8. "Tanya (3:51) slow-picked echoed and distorted electric guitar notes open this. Bass notes, drum hits, and background reverbed scream/wails join in. A very bluesy, JEFF BECK-like song--an instrumental with a BEATLES-like melody line--that seems to sing a tale of woe and tribulation. (8.25/10)

- "Mushrooms" (21:09) (34.5/40): 9. I - Prelude (1:18) - intentionally strummed guitar chords and cymbal play support Petri's wailing-echoed guitar play. (4.25/5) 10. II - On My Own (6:50) - steady rumba beat over which Petri sings in a URIAH HEEP-like melody about wasting time. Great chorus. Great song that could have been even better with better background vocals and more "in the pocket" drumming. I like the bass player exploring his own trajectory while Petri solos in the fourth minute. Then there is an odd shift into a space-dreamy sequence of effects and musical waves rising and falling (which feels as if it should have been designated with its own sub-title), but then we return to the "I wanna be" chorus for the final minute. (13.25/15) 11. III - The Weep (2:01) - gentle guitar and cymbal play over which two very odd vocal tracks compete for dominance: one that is wailing, almost crying, the other that is like an indecipherable squawk coming from a PA system voice. Interesting dichotomy. (8.25/5) 12. IV - Mushrooms (3:04) - a return to the Beastie Boys form of singing over staccato syncopated music eventually smooths and flattens out for the poppy chorus. There is absolutely no pop, no fluff, in Petri's ensuing guitar solo, though: this is all rock at it's Alvin Lee/Ronnie Montrose kickin' tops. (9/10) 13. V - Circumstances (2:18) - similar rhythm as the previous section with pseudo-Islamic chant-wailing over the top--accompanied by wild sax play (that sounds like it came from Vietnam or Mecca). Protends of Koenji Hyakkei? (4.5/5) 14. VI - Captain Relief (2:15) back to Western rock--Petri let's loose and he is on fire! Even when the band quiets down, Petri's solo is psychedelic majesty! (4.5/5) 15. VII - More Mushrooms (2:07) a conversation between two druggies gives way to the Beastie Boys theme and choral vocals of the previous "Mushrooms" section. Here Petri plays a bottleneck/slide for the lead, until ? (4.25/5) 16. VIII - The Answer (1:16) an awesome sonic landscape to finish with. (4.5/5)

Total Time: 60:20

Plenty of flashes of the rise to virtuosic levels of instrument mastery are on display here--but they aren't quite there yet--even Petri has some growing to do (unbelievably). But the power and walls of sound are there--definitely there. An excellent album of late-60s sounding psychedelic blues rock.

B/four stars; an very good addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if you like A) Hendrix, B) hard driving psychedelic rock, and/or C) later Petri Walli/Kingston Wall albums.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars One of Finland's most enduring psychedelic acid rock revivalists surely has to be the Helsinki spawned KINGSTON WALL which never really made an impact outside of its homeland during its seven year existence but has become somewhat of a cult legend since the advent of the internet which has brought posthumous fame and glory to many once occulted acts in the murky shadows of the musical underground. This band was formed as far back as 1987 by vocalist / guitarist Petri Walli and bassist Jukka Jylli with drummer Petteri Ståhl soon joining but while the two original members were firmly committed to their new band project that was originally named Moonshine Makers, they had a hard time keeping the drummer engaged.

After Ståhl jumped ship and a short stint with Timo Joutsimäki, the band would finally find resolution with drummer Sami Kuoppamäki who would play on all three of the band's album before the unfortunate suicide of Petri Walli abruptly ended the band. While supposedly named after a mental hospital in England, KINGSTON WALL started playing live in 1988 and became an immediate hit with its acid rock intensity that mixed its 60s heavy psych nostalgia with a hard rock intensity and a modern psychedelic infusion of trippy sound effects delivered by the guitar. After an extensive touring schedule and a relentless pursuit to find an album label, the band eventually recorded its first self-titled release (later known as KINGSTON WALL I) on its own Trinity label but soon found a new home on the Zero label.

The heaviest and most raw of the band's three albums, this debut featured heavy hitting tracks with energetic guitar riffing, Hendrix inspired soloing and even offered a feisty punkish version of "Fire" that displayed Walli's over-the-top vocal wallop that fits more into the camp of Midwest Emo than it does anything in the world of psychedelic rock. KINGSTON WALL sort of straddled that line between the psychedelic revival scene in the heavier arenas of acid rock but also offered a taste of early indie rock in its DIY garage rock nonchalantness of delivering tight yet raw tracks that eschewed any keyboards or other sampled effects. All the trippy effects are performed on the guitar. The band also added an exotic flair with Middle Eastern musical scales and the Egyptian horn used most prominently on tracks like "And I Hear You Call" and Mushrooms." And with "Tanya" actually slows things down to deliver something that could qualify as Pink Floyd influenced.

While considered a progressive rock band, KINGSTON WALL's debut doesn't feel as such for the most part as it mostly comes off as an above average garage band with lots of youthful pent up angst oozing from its feisty guitar, bass and drum combo assault but the album shifts gears on the closing "Mushrooms" which is basically a suite of eight movements although they are separated into individual tracks and finally delivers what many would call progressive rock. With all lyrics sung in English, KINGSTON WALL's cult appeal isn't surprising as the band's hard driving instrumental approach that mixed Hendrix and Zeppelin along with Floydian space rock moments coupled with the themes of mysticism and concepts from Eastern religions is a rather unique approach considering this band started in the 80s and recorded all its albums in the early 1990s. This last multi-suite track displays all these attributes coming together at the band's finest.

This was really the only hard rockin' album from KINGSTON WALL as the second album simply titled "II" incorporated Walli's newfound interest in tech music and rave electronica and therefore dropped the heavier acid rock abrasiveness for a smoother psychedelic space rock sound. This is an album i can understand the appeal but it's not one that has won me over to a great degree. For some reason heavy psych and acid rock outside the context of the late 60s and early 70s just doesn't resonate with me as it seems more like a period sound than one that can be revived decades later. Likewise Walli's vocal brashness is a bit of a hard pill to swallow but not a total deal breaker especially in the less vocal oriented moments. The album does evoke a unique take on psychedelic rock where it takes on a punkish approach of how the music is delivered. Not a bad album but i wish there were more psychedelic touches that anchored it more in that arena.

3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

5 stars Kingston Wall's debut one of my all-time favourite prog albums ever made, and since I am still young I will no doubt look back on it as a huge part of my teenage years, singing the guitar solos to Nepal in the shower or giving myself head pain for days after headbanging to And I Hear You Call. There ... (read more)

Report this review (#3028487) | Posted by cloth canopy | Friday, March 8, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I personally rate Kingston Wall I as a momentous debut album, with its simplicity, raw energy, and naivety. It has all the right ingredients, from a wonderful opening track, 'With My Mind', to a wild and groovy 2nd track 'Used to Feel Before'. The 3rd track 'I'm Not the One' is a classic ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#1813646) | Posted by tigerfeet | Monday, October 16, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#651500) | Posted by PolarWolf | Friday, March 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 thro ... (read more)

Report this review (#133631) | Posted by Jimsey | Saturday, August 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now, Kingston wall deput. I must say that i really dig this stuff. It just Grooves so Well!! Well ok number 8. track Tanya is little bit slow and depressive. But that brings nicely some caracter. This album is kind of that I found myself listening to it very intensively at time to time. And th ... (read more)

Report this review (#106523) | Posted by Siddhartha | Monday, January 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kinston Wall's debut is one of the finest debuts I've heard. It contains wonderful material and a little weaker material. With the best songs "With My Mind", "Waste Of Time", "Fire", "Nepal", and some parts of the epic "Mushrooms"; you can't go wrong. The rest of the songs are bit acquired tas ... (read more)

Report this review (#90244) | Posted by Ounamahl | Tuesday, September 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a good debut and shows lots of Petri Walli's potential. There are interesting songs here, like Waste of Time and Nepal. But not all the songs are that great. Anyway this is an album worth buying. 3,5 stars. ... (read more)

Report this review (#66654) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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