So I just got back in the saddle with reviewing, and I thought I would jump straight in the deep end. So I asked to review this band “KEN mode”, mainly on the basis that I have never heard them or even heard of them, and thought that by taking a shot in the dark I might come across something new that I really enjoy…. and I was absolutely right.
In the press release KEN mode describe themselves as “Independent Noise Rock” and after a few listens I would say that’s probably a fair tagline, it’s not that it’s an accurate description, but just that it’s as close as you can really get to describing a band with such a strange sound.
The album kicks in with some massive sludgy riffs, so I thought, ok they are a sludge band, but it quickly breaks down into something else entirely, with the prominent bass line, strange time signatures and almost spoken word vocals, it started to sound like Primus and Converge jamming with Henry Rollins, which although a very strange analogy, is meant as big praise.
This first track still gave no real safety net of what to expect from the rest of the album, with the band seemingly switching between hardcore, punk, metal, sludge, rock and even some down tempo Neurosis style experimentation, but somehow making all of these elements sound like a perfect fit.
On the first listen to this album I would almost say I didn’t get it at times, but kept listening straight through regardless as it managed to keep my attention from start to finish (which in the is day and age of music is no easy task) and I would say it is definitely a grower and becomes more and more enjoyable on repeat listens.
Overall This is a truly anarchic album, from a band that both musically and lyrically sound like they are doing whatever the fuck they want with little regard for genre or even opinion, and I personally find this to be a very refreshing approach to music that is in short supply these days, and it has certainly earned this reviewers respect.
(8/10 Mark Gleed)