Record review

Phases & Stages


Alpine Static (Sub Pop)

There are certain characteristics Kinski fans may share, like if you can spend a whole evening getting baked and organizing your My Bloody Valentine CDs by color, you're probably a fan. Tolerating 10-minute-plus guitar meditations is also very high on the list. On Alpine Static, their fifth recording, the Seattle quartet starts off in the right direction, attempting to melt your eardrums with the head-throbbing "The Wives of Artie Shaw" and the white-hot thrust of "Hiding Drugs in the Temple (Part 2)." "The Party Which You Know Will Be Heavy" is a sharp uppercut of guitar and drum, which then ebbs into a melodic weekend trip in the wilderness. After that, you'll need patience and a handful of Ritalin to get through the second half of the LP, even die-hard fans. Long drones of distortion and squall, plus noodling and repetition send the nine-minute "The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia" and the prog-proud "Edge Set" on a magic carpet ride down the New Age wormhole. Kinski is at its best when delivering loud, fast, and concussive for those days when you just want your face blown off in a timely manner.


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