By: Mark Martins
Kokomo | facebook | bandcamp |
Kokomo return after three years with their fourth album and first recorded as a five-piece. This was a concept album-to-be which ended up becoming the total opposite. Each song has its own life and together they built something massive and authentic. This is Kokomo’s affirmation as one of the best instrumental bands in Europe
Monochrome Noise Love grabs your attention immediately with the abstract vocals on the opening track “Pills and Pillows”; you almost have to go back and double check what you are listening to. This record is really massive and dark and the samples are used in all the right places, making everything work so perfectly. Sure, there might be bits and pieces that sound formulaic with all the typical post rock builds and crescendos. However, this isn’t necessarily bad. In the end it all comes to writing and executing quality music and Kokomo certainly deliver the goods.
I have to confess that I love albums that are growers. The first couple of listens don’t really strike you that hard if you are not paying enough attention. However, the things that stand out really do make you want to revisit time after time. I do really think it takes a patient and dedicated listen to notice and discover all the little details that will make you fall in love with it. During the first listen, surely the intro and “Me Vs. Myself”, with its hellacious and screaming vocals and its Post Metal structure and sound will stand out and be the elements of surprise.
With a few more listens, there are plenty of gems to be discovered to blow you away. “Kill The Captain, Feed the Fishes”, “Monochrome Noise Love” and “Licht/Staub” are among of the most intense and heavy pieces to be showcased here. “Beware of Pity” and “I Am Not Dead” are both very intricate Mono-like tracks but shift into different directions. The latter (“I Am Not Dead”), with the use of the horn, trumpet and trombone, is by far the most complete, delicate and beautiful tracks.
Overall, great job done combining doomy, dark and intense Shoegaze with lots of heavy riffing and a fantastic sense of urgency. The album works as a whole and as a whole it is greater than the sum of its separate parts. Considering the length (over one hour) and all its great moments and complexity, when the dust has settled, I can say it was without a doubt a satisfying and also exhausting experience.