Thursday, July 10, 2008

Album Review - Kayo Dot

Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Downward
[06/05/2008; Hydra Head Records]

Kayo Dot are an interesting breed. Frontman, Toby Driver, spent the '90s in outfit, maudlin of the Well, who were essentially a metal band. After their disbandment, Driver went on to form Kay Dot, a project that saunters in the territory of the left field and in his former band's case, a parallel universe. Blue Lambency Downward is Kayo Dot's third album and their first for Hyrdra Head. Although the songs are in a slightly shorter form, things still remain ensconced in the avant-garde template Driver has drilled to the floor in previous releases.

The title track begins with Driver almost narrating, squeezing out the vocals before the primary elements of this album take shape. Driver's vocals still remain, but are buried deep within the mix of instrumental elements that breed from a classical nature. The dark undertones still flourish through the record, perceiving Driver's close relationship with metal, but these are sparsely filtered through the jazzy fuck wittery that takes place over the 36 minutes of this release. 'Symmetrical Arizona' stars off like a creepy jazz number, with brass meandering around the edges like something out of a Jim Jarmusch film. The guitars add to weight of this 10 minute aloofness of sound that closes the album in apt fashion.

For those who suffer from ups and down, violent mood swings and an addiction to some form of chemical substance, Blue Lambency Downward has your name written all over it. It's a little too mental and abstract to indulge in multiple listens, however it would be an essential for one of those 'off days' we all tend to have. Definitely an adequate addition to the record collection.

By Simon K

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