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Kinski - Be Gentle with The Warm Turtle CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.04 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Any fan of Neuer Deutscher Film will take notice of a band name-checking Klaus Kinski. And be thrilled to find that their music, like the volatile actor himself, is equally enigmatic, unpredictable, often violent, and sometimes surprisingly beautiful.

The Seattle-based quartet is currently listed in these Archives as a Psychedelic/Space Rock group, but that's only a (minor) slice of their full musical spectrum. Other elements are more conspicuous: Post Rock noise; west coast Grunge (hardly unexpected, given their home town); Krautrock repetition. In other words, nothing remotely like what we all recognize (but have trouble defining) as Progressive Rock.

The band's mostly instrumental second album is an exercise in opposition, contrasting moments of distorted twin-guitar fury with interludes of uneasy ambient calm. The opening "Space Launch for Frenchie" (the goofy title is a Post Rock trait shared with their kindred spirits in MOGWAI) balances relaxing atmospherics against some oddly unsettling guitar reverb, ebbing and flowing directly into the majestic fuzzed-out anthem "New India".

Which in turn brilliantly sets up "Newport", the only true song on the album: a noose-tight dynamo of post-NEU! motorik propulsion designed to worm its way under your skin. Note the evocative film-noir lyrics, so terse they're worth quoting in full:

Run / To the beach house

Stay there / 'Til you get my phone call

Lie low / Don't do anything

If we get out of this mess / It'll be a godsend

Call me a philistine, but I think it's brilliant. And that same brevity of expression is reflected in the music throughout the album. One chord is usually sufficient to carry any given track; often a single note is enough to prove the (very German) idea that complexity isn't always required to make a powerful noise.

The album ends (in "Montgomery") on the same atypical mood it began with: wrapped in a warm blanket of quietly reverberating guitar arpeggios, gently hung from a simple melodic hook. For a band described elsewhere in the music press as sounding "like Sabbath in a washing machine during a power surge", the final notes leave a strange, savory aftertaste.

Three-plus stars, rounded up.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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