RiYL: Indian, Tombs, Helms Alee, Black Tusk
RT: “Grievances”, “Your Best Years”, “The Grift”
When you think about the sound and tone of the album Grievances, you realize that the album title is extremely fitting for the feelings that are expressed through all of the tracks on the album. In their fifth album Grievances, the San Francisco native group, Kowloon Walled City has toned down the energy of their tracks, and is still able to convey the similar feelings of disdain and frustration through each of their tracks. It is quite impressive that Scott Evans plays the role of the guitarist, singer, and producer, but It would make sense that for that reason all of the different components of each song blend well into a unified voice. I would definitely not call this feel good music, because in really it is the farthest thing from it.
Even though the music does not give you feelings of joy, there is still power in the deliberate strokes of the distorted guitar that gives that distinct post metal sound. The distortion uses a lot of reverb and fuzz to create a static noise that also echoes into the empty spaces of the room around you to create an awareness of the empty spaces around you. The instrumentals are all strong and even though the rhythms and melodies are slower than in previous albums, Grievances still delivers on a sounds that can get the energy going and blood pumping in your veins. Although the lyrics in these songs an incomprehensible after thought, they still provide a needed contrast to the metal sounds of the guitar and pounding strength of the drums.
Some of the best tracks on the album include “The Grift”, and the album’s namesake track “Grievances”. Both of these tracks contain moments of the bone shattering energy mixed with longing moments of patience where you can feel that the attack of darkness and wrath is about to come upon you and swoop down onto you in a powerful rage. The name of the track “True Believer” is quite ironic considering the tone of the album as a whole and that the track itself does not differ in sound from the rest of the album. The track “Daughters and Sons” though, has a buildup that increases tenseness most out of the rest of the tracks on this album.
Ultimately after listening to this album for a while, you may feel that the tracks are nagging at you from the lyrics, but you may also have an unexpected feeling of uplifted-ness that comes from those deliberate guitar strums. This is an album that you will either hate or love depending on your tastes. With the consistency in overall tone from their past albums, Kowloon Walled City has created an album that fans of their past music are sure to enjoy. It differs from previous albums a little, but only in polish, and not enough to alienate people who enjoyed their previous works.