With the release of their Sounds from an Empty Room EP last year, US rockers band Kirra suggested they were a prospect with the potential to make great strides in the rock world. Now the release of debut album Run Away compounds that theory whilst showing some of the strong evolving steps expected. The twelve track encounter is a seriously accomplished and forcibly solid proposition, aspects alone making Kirra a band to culture an appetite for and the album something to thoroughly enjoy. With moments of inspired invention and explosive imagination on board too though, it also shows a promise and ability to light addictive fires. If you are looking for a hard rock proposition with a freshness and increasingly striking adventure to spark the day, then Run Away is worth a long hard look.
It is fair to say that the Oklahoma City quartet has been healthily feeding an increasing spotlight and growing fan base at home with a live presence which has seen them play across America whilst taking in shows with the likes of 3 Doors Down, Primer 55, Puddle Of Mudd, Kill Devil Hill, Screaming for Silence, and Saving Able along the way. With its seeds coming in the wish of lead guitarist Daxton Page, after leaving a rock school program, to start a band, Kirra began coming together once drummer Zach Stafford was introduced to Page through friends. Subsequently bassist Ryne McNeill was found through an ad, who in turn suggested vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jesse Williamson to the band. With the line-up completed, Kirra worked on songs and released that first EP in 2014, with the single from it, Downfall finding strong acclaim and support from online media and social media fans alike. Run Away is the band’s offering to the bigger picture of the rock scene, and a sizeable nudge on their awareness and attention the self-produced, Ricardo Sasaki mixed is.
The electronic opening of first song Tappy Gilmore instantly livens up ears and imagination, its initial lure soon bolstered by sinew driven rhythms and a strong caress of riffs. It is a bright opening enhanced again by the vocals of Williamson and a slight Alter Bridge like enticement in the muscular and welcoming proposition. It is also a punchy introduction to the album with great flare-ups of aggression and energy in the melodic landscape of the song.
A darker predatory intimidation comes with Fly next, especially through the great throaty bassline of McNeill and the raw brush of riffs. Swiftly putting the previous song in its shade, it prowls ears as vocals again provide a pleasing if less incendiary colour to the antagonism. With alluring craft and sonic enterprise from Page igniting the imagination and senses as the song relaxes into further inventive temptation, it continues to impress and like the album as whole, gains greater strength and potency over subsequent listens. It is a definite grower much as the following Lies and its successor Lay You Down .The first of the two has a Chevelle spicing to its potent persuasion whilst the second is like a boxer jabbing away from its first breath before building a pungent stroll of darkly tempered and fiery rock ‘n’ roll. Though neither song finds the same level of energy in emotions and praising, each leaves ears fully contented and thoughts hungry for more, a want straight away encouraged by the album’s gentler title track and fed fully by the outstanding stepping forward of Chemicals.
Run Away the song, is a great croon with another imposing bass sound to match as emotional and sonic flames provide a lingering incitement but it is Chemicals where things catch fire, and for us the album offers it’s seriously stirring and thrilling moments. The song again through the bass, immediately opens up new provocative shadows. It is gripping dramatic bait soon complimented and expanded by the stomping beats of Stafford and an abrasing scrub of riffs. Just as impacting in the triumph though is the continually twisting and riveting ideation which veins the song, guitars and rhythms never staying in one place or offering any particular intent for too long. It helps create a predator of a song with a metal and sonically progressive breeding as flavoursome as its melodic rock enterprise.
This new plateau is continued through the mellower but no less exciting and dramatic Downfall and the sturdier confrontation of Should’ve Been Gone where muscles and textures show as much a threat as they do an inescapable seduction. Both songs reveal new depths and imagination to songwriting and sound, pulling every skill and inventiveness of the band members into enthralling and gripping scenarios. The latter for no obvious reason reminds of Bush at times but both tracks show an originality which lurks in Kirra and shows itself in varying strengths across the album.
Drown and Stay keep satisfaction and enjoyment high, even though neither can quite match the might and exploration of its predecessors despite showing more contagious sounds and courageous invention, especially through the devilish lures of bass and guitars. As in all songs the lyrical narrative comes packed with emotion and reflection on the two tracks, as evidenced again by the mellower and increasingly magnetic balladry of Forgive Me. The song ebbs and flows in its power a little, but with a chorus which just feel bigger and bolder with every roar it is another memorable pleasure from Kirra.
Completed by the brash energy and invigorating creativity of Too Far Gone, the album is a mightily promising and exciting full introduction to the band. It shows a few wrinkles which should naturally iron out in the band’s organic evolution, like the excellent vocals of Williamson lacking a rawer spark or snarl at times to match the more rugged sounds around him. There are songs too which never explode as they hint they might, and you wish they would, but all are things easy to expect being worked out as the band grows into the force their album suggests is in the making. Most importantly Run Away leaves nothing but fattening satisfaction and enjoyment in its wake, and a want to hear much more from Kirra.
Run Away is available from January 21st @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/run-away/id956087310
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