Saturday, February 22, 2014

The KVB Minus One

Yet another band that has cruised under my radar to the tune of three albums is London's KVB. The audio/visual project of Nicholas Wood & Kat Day the band have been quietly releasing records overseas since 2010. Discovered Stateside by Anton out of Brian Jonestown Massacre, the band has finally washed up on our shores and this is a very good thing.

Their rather ambiguously mathematically themed album Minus One is a slab of dark distorted noise that's part goth and part Jesus and Mary chain. The release is atmospheric and gloomy with huge hooks and so much feedback it's like a wall of fog. The songs are depressingly cool in that Reid brothers dead pan kind of way. It's a perfect example of manipulating the quiet/loud dynamic in such a way to give near headache inducing joy to listeners. This is a loud, noisy, yet unreadable and murky album. Minus One is the sort of record that casts out riff after riff to create opaque sheets on noise than you can barely hear through, yet if you make it through the din and destruction there lies a tune that's chaotic and brilliant. Songs don't so much rope you in with a catchy chorus but lure you with a disorienting cascade of noise that most assuredly will lead to your doom. It's impossible to resist this sonic web that KVB casts out and your destruction is imminent the second you begin listening to Minus One.

Easily one of my favorite records of 2013, this is fantastic stuff all around. The KVB's ability to harness chaos and turn it into something kinetically beautiful is admirable. They make a lot of racket and may or may not have ears but in the end they find a song lost in all the noise they create. Minus One is a wonderfully distorted view of beauty and that's what makes it so special.

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