Tuesday 3 December 2013

The Kissaway Trail - Breach

Album review by soul1@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

One of the main things we'll remember 2013 for (in terms of music at least) is the sheer amount of excellent new discoveries from the Danish music scene. In the past Sweden has had the monopoly over alternative guitar music when it comes to the Scandinavian countries, and last year Finland stepped up to the plate with some great new shoegaze and dreampop bands. The fact that the fabulous and prolific Raveonettes had a rare year off from releasing records was barely noticed thanks to psych, indie and other alternative sounds from bands such as When Saints Go Machine, Vinyl Floor, Blaue Blume, The Road To Suicide and The Great Dictators keeping us entertained. That list barely scrapes the surface, but it's clear that Denmark is coming up with the goods. Now relative veterans of the scene, and surely an influence on a few of the aforementioned acts, Odense trio The Kissaway Trail still have what it takes to stand tall amongst crowd.

With their third album 'Breach', the band show not only their deft hand with a tune, but also a slightly more experimental side that doesn't come at the expense of highly listenable songs. It would be a tough call, but this is surely a contender for Danish album of the year. It's consistency that's the key to 'Breach', and this comes in the form of quality, not necessarily sound; there's a variety here yet nothing sounds out of place. Blending a fuzzy, almost lo-fi sound in with the kind of grandeur of the arrangements found on dreamy opener 'Telly The Truth' is no mean feat, and it's one they instantly improve on with the even bigger 'Nørrebro', a song that rivals Arcade Fire in ambition but stays true to the more alternative nature of the group. Even the darker songs show a vastness of sound that never goes too far, and 'Sarah Jevo' is a particularly good example of this; it's flooded with all kinds of different sounds, much like the humming electronic thump of 'Beauty Still Rebels' that follows it with a heavy nod to post-punk.

There's a wonderful, booming, Spectorish flourish to be found on 'Cuts Of Youth'; if you wanted to know what Flaming Lips would sound like given the "wall of sound" treatment then make this your first port of call. With a more conventional sound but no less impressive is the driving alt-rock of 'The Springsteen Implosion' which brings with it a sizeable chorus. The echoing 'So Sorry' falls into a similar bracket along with 'The Sinking' which would make for great single material. This power is a constant throughout the album, and even short pieces like 'Sarah' and 'Robot' give us heavy beats. 'Shaking The Mote' adds a certain sadness without breaking from the combination of mild distortion and force. They even round things of with a track that sounds like the end of a journey in the quite beautiful 'A Rainy Night In Soho'. In summarising what The Kissaway Trail have achieved with 'Breach', you'd have to say that it's the creation of such big, sweeping and impressive songs that never come close to contrived stadium pomp; at all times both taste and quality are kept to an incredibly high level, and it's this that makes this record an essential purchase.

The Kisaway Trail's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Sun, Dec 22, Plantagehuset, Thisted

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