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Tag Archives: Kitshickers

Kitshickers – III.0

Kitshickers - III.0
Instrumental music: you either love it or you hate it. Generally-speaking, it’s difficult for that type of music to win me over, which is why I wasn’t a huge fan of today’s band in recent years. But as chance has it, the Luxembourgish progressive veterans, Kitshickers, are returning to their roots and have a proper vocalist again, instead of guest appearances. For their seventh album, III.0, they’ve recruited Yann Dalscheid, who was the singer of An Apple A Day for quite some time and has recently been added to the Scarred roster, to add a fresh but familiar layer to their complex sound spectrum.

For the second time in a row the band has decided to use the crowdfunding model, in order to cater to the exact needs and wants of their dedicated fanbase, and thus set out to best their previous effort. To cut to the chase, spoiler warning: they absolutely achieved that goal and then some. While their sound is still recognizably them, I feel like they’ve shed some of the overly experimental fluff in favor of a more concise and, for lack of a better word, streamlined style. Don’t get me wrong though: these six tracks are anything but simple and boring. Massive riffs coupled with hard-hitting drumming hammer you into the ground, just to pick you up again and repeat the process.

No need to lie here: the concept, birth and death, behind this new record is one that has been done a million times and yet the quintet managed to captivate me on my first listening session and have kept doing so even after the tenth time through. But be warned: if you’re going to take this ride, you better bring some spare time and the ability to let music have an effect on you, because at one hour and one minute, III.0 is not the type of record you put in while you run and grab some bread from your local shop. At least in my opinion, this is the kind of album where you only get the full experience if you listen to it with headphones and are able to forget about your surroundings.

No small part of this beautifully immersive journey is due to the resurfaced (almost) permanent use of vocals. When I first read that Kitshickers got a new vocalist I was slightly excited, then upon learning who it was going to be I was initially skeptical…since I was definitely underestimating what the guy could do. Finally, when I got to listen to the finished product, I was totally blown away: I knew he could scream, growl, shout and pretty much do everything in the repertoire of a “typical metal vocalist” to a T…but when he switched to perfectly sung clean vocals after an initial scream at the beginning of the first song, I had total goosebumps that lasted for the remainder of the track.

What can I say? III.0 is not a record for everyone, especially in today’s fast food world…but if you allow yourself some time off and dive into the trip that the band has cooked up for you, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. And if for some reason you are not into the vocals, there is the possibility for you to listen to the entire record in a purely instrumental form also. Head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information and do yourself a favor and move your butt to the Rotondes in Luxembourg this Saturday, October 22nd, since that’s where the guys will be holding the release show for their new baby! See you there!

 

Kitshickers – Horror Vacui

There’s probably no better way to celebrate a 15th band anniversary than with the release of a new album, in this case: Kitshickers‘ new longplayer Horror Vacui featuring 20 new tracks with lots of guest appearances and cryptic song titles. I remember the first time I heard this band was more than 10 years ago, when we still had this weird TV channel called Tango TV and when the Food For Your Senses festival took place in a humid, tiny basement somewhere in Luxembourg. At that time, this 4 piece collective playing chaotic alternative rock had nothing to do with the band we know nowadays.

Horror Vacui, 6th long player of the band, is something in between post rock and sludge, floating among melancholic depressive moods reminding of Mono up to hymnical highlights as if Isis would perform Pink Floyd‘s A Saucerful Of Secrets. Maybe a risky comparison, but you’ll get the idea after listening to the first five instrumental tracks, with Scarred‘s Yogi slamming on the guitar on nfr.

The first vocal appearance happens on the 6th track Lokavibhâga.1, featuring Cosmogon‘s Fabrice Mennuni, who’s got a short but striking commitment. I’d wished for a more aggressive vocal performance, as I know what this bloke is able to do with his growls, but that would not have fit into the concept, I guess.

Speaking of aggressiveness, the songs happen to build up into a multi-layered experience without outbursting into an explosion ergo a big wall of sound, which makes the listening experience even more challenging. The songwriting is diversified and too complex to be considered as boring or generic; plenty of work has been put into these tracks; the only thing that makes me sceptical is the suppressed aggressiveness. Don’t get me wrong but it isn’t until sunya where something really “big” happens in collaboration with Raph from The Majestic Unicorns From Hell, a song that’s got every ingredient of what Kitshickers‘ songwriting is all about; which is this blend between psychedelic world-weariness and simple outrage in one. Or maybe I’m just too stuck on their old album So That’s The Miracle Of Life, one of my personal highlights back in 2006.

Luckily enough, 273K could be described as a highlight for me. It’s sludgy and heavy, straight to the point; and I believe this song could be quite monumental when performed live on stage in combination with the following track buz&jég. I sense something epic on both tracks.

All in all, I have to say that Horror Vacui is NOT a bad album, it just takes its time to unfold its message / beauty. It’s nothing that impresses a distracted listener like me on first pass, but I’m pretty sure that this album can have a different effect once you see Kitshickers perform it live; which will actually happen this Saturday for their release party at the KuFa in Esch. So be there and make up your own opinion about the new album!