Sunday, December 18, 2011

#29: KEN Mode - Venerable

Winnipeg's KEN Mode crack the top 30 as the second Canadian entry on my list. As much as I like the album, I find it very hard to describe Venerable (Profound Lore (That's 5 Profound Lore releases on the list so far if you're counting along at home.)) The trio has crafted a dynamic record that goes beyond their normal designation as a noise-rock band. I don't like that "noise" tag at all really. At least on Venerable. To me, "noise" implies some arty lack of coherence. That's not the case here. Yes, the album swings from quiet, whispered moments to soul-crushing heaviness. Sometimes rather abruptly. But it makes sense. There are riffs. Great riffs. Your head may spin but for good reason. A spinning because the way the textures weave themselves into the whole is worth of veneration. Not a spinning in frustration of trying to wrap your head around it. I was also impressed with the balance between the four ingredients in this tasty dish. Of the vocals, guitar, bass and drums, no one flavour dominates the taste of the album. It's been a good year for the 'Peg. First Venerable, then the return of the Jets. I've seen the Jets play (the old Jets) but I've yet to experience KEN Mode live. That's something I hope gets rectified in 2012. (ie. Come play Kingston, ON)

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