Down Below It’s Chaos
Sub Pop

Essentially instrumental, Seattle’s Kinski plays like platinum-blond heavy metal with a shaved head. There are moments of grace—decorative lyrics like “Standing over the ocean, toothbrush in hand” are nifty and approachable. But “Boy Was I Mad” is more the spirit of the album. A raging seven minutes of distortion and thrumming drums, the track descends from rhythm into chaos, blips and beeps surfacing and then being subdued as the final chords wash over it all.

Kinski builds sound with pockets of air and chunks of rock. Drummer Barrett Wilke works over the cymbals, lightening his touch when he isn’t forced to outgun dual guitarists Chris Martin and Matthew Reid-Schwartz, whose steel wool buzz will tickle your ears through the headphones.Reid-Schwartz sometimes switches from guitar to flute or keyboard, as on “Child Had to Catch a Train,” which vibrates initially with shirtless Stooges abandon before organ chords sidle the effort cross-wise in time toward an Iron Butterfly jam. Other songs start slow: “Plan Steal Drive” spaces out early notes over green oscilloscope undertones, teasing four minutes of clarion picking into a mesmerizing pinwheel of overdriven, speaker-shredding violence.

Eerie and inviting while groovy and confrontational, Kinski dispenses a smoke-belching avant-rock concoction served up with black light style. (Jason Wiener)
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