I’ve never been able to get into Kylesa. For a period there in 2008 and 2009 they were a support act on every tour ever so I got a number of opportunities to see them live, each time hoping that I’d finally see what everyone else sees in this band and suddenly “get it”… but alas, it never happened. My charges against Kylesa are such:

  1. With two drummers in the band, I’d hope for something either insanely ridiculous or insanely awesome (or both); the possibilities are limitless. Instead, Kylesa’s two drummers for the most part just double each other or, occasionally, one “fills in the cracks” left by the other’s backbeat. Bo-ring. It just comes off as a cheap gimmick — “hey, that band has TWO drummers up there, WOW!” Phooey. There is so much unchartered territory in two-drummers-ville and this band explores none of it.
  2. Kylesa don’t bring very much (or anything) to the table that hasn’t already been done before. By Mastodon. Who do it (much) better. Big stoner taco riffs that have been done over and over and over and over by bands for the past decade? Dalliances with minor time signature shifts? Occasional adventures into psych rock territory? Monotonously shouted half-scream/half-sing vocals? Check, check, check and check.

What’s worse is that beardo Williamsburg hipsters eat this shit up. Kylesa did a U.S. tour with The Ocean (and other awesome bands) a couple of Summers ago that stopped at the old Knitting Factory in Manhattan, and the moment Kylesa finished playing their completely mediocre and average brand of stoner prog the room cleared out. Before the fucking Ocean! Who absolutely destroyed it that night, by the way. I guess the masses would rather hear average joe stoner riffs they’ve already heard a bazillion times before (from other bands) than music that actually takes chances and challenges their intellect. Go figure.

ANYWAY, Kylesa have a new album coming out. My thoughts on this news, after the jump.

Despite all the trash-talk I laid out above, I actually do think that Kylesa’s most recent record Static Tensions was a big step forward from 2006’s Time Will Fuse Its Worth. That’s like saying that a guy who’s in an 0-for-20 slump has a breakout game in which he goes in inconsequential 2-for-4 in a lopsided blowout, but still, it counts for something; I wouldn’t say I liked the record, but it was a step in the right direction [PS: I’m listening to it again right now, and I still feel the same]. As such I certainly haven’t completely written off this band and I’m definitely going to give the new Kylesa record a fair shot. But I’m very skeptical.

Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong (or right) about Kylesa in the comments section.


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