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!