I quite like cocktails. Not all the time mind. Let’s not go overboard, I am English not Floridian. Once in a while though it is nice to sip from a glass that contains a surprising mix of elements that refreshes the pallet whilst also puts a tingling on your taste buds. Explositive is one such aural cocktail.
Pretty darn popular in their native Austria (Agata the gorgeous chanteuse is from Poland ) I had never heard of these loons before. This shames me.
Take one part Roots era Sepultura, one part Skindred , a twist of System of a Down , the rind of Les Claypool, a hint of Mad Capsule Markets and use a glittery cocktail shaker made from Eurovision song contest costumes. Set light to the fucker and suck through an asbestos straw. Yummmmmm!
“You’ve got to dance……and maybe you’ll turn me on!” From the opening line of “Dance” one quickly realises that this is not going to be a post metal journey into the abyss. How refreshing! A Middle Eastern vibe and dual vocals from the aforementioned Agata and the heavily accented Stefan, usher in this three minute hero of a track. If anything screams rock club classic it is this. It lays out the seven piece’s goal straight out. Groovy, kitsch electro rock that has fucking heavy riffs and gorgeous choruses that make you want to throw your hands in the air and wave em li…….. oh you know where I am going. “Why” comes in on a Ragga tip with bits of 80’s Electro pop. I wondered at first how I felt about Austrian white folk in lederhosen (they wear them – I am not stereotyping) having a go at a Dub War style vibe. Pffft loosen up Matt it works brilliantly and the drums usher up Sepultura and take the feeling through to “Just Propaganda” . This track has massive crossover appeal with its Skindred/Pitchshifter/ Chumbawumba stylings. This is not beard stroking serious muso shizzle. This is shit eating grin, hands in the air, feet flying, grab your best mate and swing em round by the nips in a festival second stage tent music. OK????!!!!
“I Freak On” opens and I think it is “Close to the Edit” by Art of Noise which is a win from the off. Kontrust do not mess with the formula here and despite a slightly darker vibe this is more of the same. Four songs in any listener will have decided whether they are gonna stay on the Kontrust train and the pop sensibilities and kitsch asides will chide with many. However this group show that Baby Metal do not have the monopoly on heavy pop and though I like the Japanese Kiddy rockers this seems a little more genuine . “Cosmic Girls” sounds like it could pop up on an episode of Regular Show.
I will admit that I was gutted that “Vienna” is not a cover of Midge and his raincoat. I love a cover, me. However what I got was a love letter to their city followed by “Bulldozer” which is a tuneful wish for a purple shiny bulldozer to get rid of all the crap in life. Better than riding round on your Dad’s JCB surely?
Play begins with a funky ass bass line which punctuates throughout. Here Stefan’s vocals take on a Dez Fafara edge from his Coal Chamber days but balanced by Agata this works well.
“This is my Show” opens with a whistle so jaunty I looked for Tommy Steel or a postie to pop out of the speakers. What follows though is more heavy heavy alt pop.
Bizarrely Kontrust finish on a downer. Not a bad track but a “Bad Time” which contains the only melancholy on the album. The use of pathos is effective but the band seem to fly more when expressing anger, joy or frustration elsewhere.
Explositive is a good album. A rip roaring journey through the heaviest pop soundscape I have heard in years. You can dance to it, chant along and bang your head in equal measure. Flawed but rare.
(8/10 Matt Mason)