Man, I've missed seeing Kylesa the past couple times they've come through town and now I'm feeling kinda silly about being lazy like that. In some fashion or another I seem to have missed every advance review of their latest, Static Tensions, that just came out yesterday. I knew it was coming, but I just didn't read anything about it. That's probably for the best anyhow, since my ignorance left me with no biases going into this listen.
Gotta say I'm quite pleased. They still have the awesome sludge/psychedelic/hardcore thing going on, but they up the ante a bit by throwing in some more metal riffs into the mix. I've always enjoyed Kylesa's vocals; Phil's and Corey's gruff, tuneful deliveries contrast beautifully with Laura's haunting, angel-of-doom-in-a-nightmare singing. I also love that Laura just plain piledrives her own growls in there for good measure just to revel in the fact that she can sing and scream in equal measure. I could be mistaken but I think she has more parts on this new one than I remember, though I'm most likely wrong. Anyway, I really dig it.
When I first heard that they'd be opening—alongside Intronaut, whose latest, Prehistoricisms is rapidly growing on me—for Mastodon I was a bit taken aback. There's the whole heavy Georgia thing they share, but Kylesa has always been more "hardcore" in my mind than "metal" (not that they're exclusive). This album changes that for me, as it's a much more "metal"-ish release and snuggles them nicely in that ambiguous zone between labels that's often the signifier for an original, noteworthy act. Not sure why they have two drummers, still, as I couldn't notice any points where it's actually necessary (no Dale & Coady f'n around anywhere to be heard) and, thus, is superfluous. But the drumming is solid, if unspectacular and provides a foundation for the other three members to experiment a little more (perhaps this aspect is why they're still "hardcore" in my head).
Definitely worth picking up, in my opinion, and this may have pushed me back into the "yeah, I'll hit up the Mastodon show after all" camp. Well done and now I know what I'll be listening to on my way to work tomorrow.