Described as “one of the best new bands in Britain” by The Guardian, Kutosis are back with their new record, Dream It Away, via Jealous Lovers Club. After the success of their debut album, the band have refined and developed themselves beyond the raw post-punk sound they previously produced, to a more powerful sound that knocks you back a few steps.
Grunge-punk electric chords open the eleven track album with This Avalanche Is, with unapologetic confidence and a moreish vibe. Crystal Beach steps away from the post-punk initial sound and with a more direct line for noise-indie-rock, The Vaccines style chords mingle with clearer vocals to create a radio-ready song to suit a windows-down road trip. Old Judas holds more central focus on the vocals of the record, with the excessive cymbals and pulsing bass that keeps the vibe instilled by the album cover, before Horizons brings up the gritty-noise sound with renewed vigour and a chorus to bring a live crowd together.
The Cardiff trio slow it down with the open of fifth track, Night Surf, and what seems to begin by aiming for another more indie track changes to repetitive lyrics and closes with heavy riffs. Feel Love is the closest this album gets to a love ballad, softer verses giving way to an overwhelmingly powerful statement chorus before an almost-breakdown lowers then lifts the pace of the album with astonishing control. French Canadian Girls adds a catchy pop slant to the record, with the title line becoming more than simply infectious and the heavy bass owning the track with the power to shake a room live.
At over five minutes, Something In The River is the longest track off the release, and the slowest – while it gives you time to pay attention to the artistic talent of the band, I also found my attention slipping once or twice – a grower, I reckon. Short Stories proves to be a personal favourite on almost every listen – a vocal-intense start breaks into and over a short and simple chorus, with alternating guitar and percussion focus providing a solid instrumental backing. And never underestimate the power of a basic “ooh ooh ooooh” to support bold closing lyrics. Penultimate track Fear of Flying ropes back in the grungier side of the sound, with the instrumental overriding the vocals, before the features switch for closing track Volcano. The sound builds up and breaks down over the structure of the piece, and with the end of the album proving as powerful as the opening, if it hadn’t caught your attention, you weren’t listening properly.
Produced by Rory Atwell (Veronica Falls, Yuck, Palma Violets), this record is likely to open doors in the world of modern-noise-rock for the band, and bring them out of Wales into the world at large.