Kylesa – Static Tensions (Prosthetic Records)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Always a critics choice, Kylesa continue to make us all look good with Static Tensions. The band’s amalgam of stoner, sludge, and doom has become even more formidable, with a batch of songs here that are instantly memorable and even step outside the normal bounds of their previous Time Will Fuse Its Worth release. In fact, this album (and band) has something for everyone. And they still have two drummers – .38 Special-style.

The dual vocal attack of Laura Pleasants and Phillip Cope isn’t what makes Kylesa, neither does the twin drum assault (which for some odd reason, could be more bombastic, I guess), but it’s those simple, suckerpunch riffs. They’re all over this thing: on the driving opener “Scapegoat,” the rumbling “Only One” and even touch some melodic bases on “Almost Lost,” which is probably the best cut on the album.

The haunting “Unknownawareness” is pure brilliance, as a creepy lead guitar melody guides this tribal-esque number down foreboding paths for Kylesa. Same for “Runningred” a king-sized rocker with one of the band’s more laid-back riffs, but man, it all clicks.

Static Tensions is arguably the band’s finest hour; an album chalk-full of tantalizing riffs and satisfying arrangements. There’s no fat here, just all meat, thick, red, and firm, and will probably be the most “spot-on” album of the stoner/doom genre all year.

Don’t take the 8/10 rating at face value; this very well could be higher by year’s end. Static Tensions is solid as fuck.

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