Kutosis – Fanatical Love
It’s hard to get the balance right. This is something that applies to a lot of situations, and one of these is being in a band, particularly one that tries to do a number of different things, or in this case, straddle a number of different genres, all at once. KUTOSIS should know, because on their debut album. ‘Fanatical Love’, they’ve presented themselves as a band that just can’t make up their mind as to who they want to be; or more precisely, what they want to sound like.
Broadly speaking, the group’s sound is rooted in post-punk of various different shades. When they want to, they can be as hard-hitting and direct – or even (whisper it) as accessible – as the bands that blazed the post-punk revival trail of the mid-Noughties. There are certainly some hints of (really) early Bloc Party on this album, particularly so on recent single ‘Salton Sea’ and ‘Shadows’. For a record that’s lathered in such dry production, there’s a lot of fun to be had with some of these songs too: the ghosts of the sadly-departed Danananaykroyd show up on the juggernaut-like ‘Skin’.
The band also have an abrasive side to them; sometimes they know exactly when to display it, and then at other times they lose the run of themselves. ‘Breeders’ is an example of the latter scenario, and it’s an even bigger shame as it’s meant to be the album’s swansong. The closer relies on more than just a little too much noise, and it’s not the only offender on this album. The outro to ‘Battle Lake’ is almost completely drowned in feedback. KUTOSIS could work well as a noise-rock band, but there are times here when these aspirations and the sound they’ve already established for themselves clash horribly.
There are two instrumental interludes present on the album; ‘Islands vs Oceans’, parts 1 and 2, serve to provide some breathing space at crucial points (as the production can make things sound overly intense at times), but in my opinion they should have been developed into fuller songs themselves, because even though they both hover around the 90-second mark, they produce some of the high points on ‘Fanatical Love’. Sadly, though, what could have been a great album (and believe me, most of the right foundations have been laid down) has turned into a textbook case of ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’. Top marks for your willingness to experiment, guys, but perhaps a bit more focus in future would help the casue.
Released November 14 2011 on Barely Regal Records
Echo Rating (((●●●)))
Posted by Gareth O’Malley
Tags: Barely Legal Records, Fanatical Love, Gareth O'Malley, Kutosis