Kowloon Walled City - Gambling on the Richter Scale

Kowloon Walled City is a band I never really got until recently. I heard their first EP and dug it...but only to the point of half-listening to the first few tracks, agreeing with a riff here and there then veering off to listen to something else.

Sentiments of the "ass-heavy", "low-end", and other popular buzzwords (or conjugations, whatever) used by people, including myself, to describe this band barely do justice to express what's special about this band, and more specifically, their new record Gambling on the Richter Scale. If you're familiar with their EP, think of this as the track 'Turning Into Bricks' expanded into eight tracks, heavy riffage and verse-trailing solos included.

Using the word "heavy" to describe their music may prove deceiving. The bar has been raised so high in music in terms of technical ability within the past decade that the definition of "heavy" has transformed from the indulgence of a slow complimentary solo to shitty soulless tech-grind breakdowns. It's debasing to say what they've created is simple...less technical songs display a different sort of musical ability than masturbatory solos and string fingering.

Compare their music to what Soundgarden was doing before they fizzled out in the mid-nineties. Dark, heavy, depressing kind of shit. The ability to conjure emotion with instrumentals is what defined their heaviness...and this stands as the same case for KWC. Track for track, this record is a slurry of voluminous thick spirited and urban-centric songs rooted by this strong backbone of murky music born by the many grit-toothed noise rock (and grunge) bands that came before them. Although, most of the tracks do embody this sort of slow dark-melodic sort of feel, they do indulge in the kind of heavy-flesh-grinding minimalist sludge comparable to Corrupted.

And that's just what makes KWC so attractive...they have this awesome dynamism that sounds great, but doesn't make their records incohesive. Check it out:

Kowloon Walled City - Gambling on the Richter Scale




saturnine said...

soundgarden. hm. wouldn't have jumped between those two on my own, but... i suppose so.

heh, my word verification is "expepie". that just caused the ten year old in me to die happy.

TONA said...

Awesome, awesome album.

Adrian said...

if you're still looking for the Poppin Fresh Demo fro Pillsbury Hardcore, I just posted it.


Uovo Duro said...

Yeah! Good fuckin post man!

Johnny said...

I found myself wanting to thrash one minute and then almost fall asleep the next. Cool band though. Will continue to follow