Everything about Space Muffin, the new album from Italian rockers Kayleth is a spatial adventure; from the eye catching cover and lyrical exploration to the space rock coloured climate gathered over a stoner rock sculpted landscape, it is a flight through other worldly explorations. Equally that stoner and metal induced breeding gives songs and release a contrasting grounding which makes it as intensely imposing as it is celestially fascinating. Space Muffin, a fluffy name offering a slight deterrent before a note is heard, and Kayleth draw on recognisable influences it is fair to say, Kyuss and Orange Goblin for example. It is an open spice though which the Verona quintet entwine with again familiar space/psych rock seeded imagination to conjure something seriously compelling. The album might not be the one to really challenge your expectations but definitely it is a proposition to turn pleasure and a hunger for more up to the highest setting.
Formed in 2008, Kayleth has persistently lured an increasingly potent attention their way through their releases which started with Not Yet in 2006. Initially their sound was rigorously stoner-esque, with In the Womb of Time and Rusty Gold of 2008 and 2010 respectively, thick enticements of the broadening emergence of the band. Their sound has been on a constant evolution even from those early releases, but it was after The Survivor was released in 2012 and through the addition of keyboard player Michele Montanari that the band went on a new exploration into space/psych rock territories, investigation taken without leaving behind the stoner canvas which had already garnered the band increasing acclaim. The band and songs within Space Muffin seem to revel in this new horizon of imagination in their songwriting and sound, discovering like its premise, a new world to play in.
The heady heights and atmosphere of Mountains opens up the release, its muscular presentation an immediate wall of rugged riffs and pungent rhythms within a web of spicy grooves. Behind it the keys of Montanari seduce away, not making a major declaration yet but coaxing behind the scenes as the excellent grainy vocals of Enrico Gastaldo join the widening scenery of the song. Guitarist Massimo Dalla Valle matches the increasing lure of the keys with tangy grooves and acidic melodies, both aspects uniting in rich warmth as the bass of Alessandro Zanetti rumbles within their midst. Completed by the feisty and imaginative beats of Daniele Pedrollo, the song stomps and swerves with irresistible contagion; turning as the keys bring their interstellar suggestiveness into an exotic temptress.
The excellent start is continued by Secret Place, a track loaded with an energetic stride driven by virulent grooves, rampant rhythms, and the potent vocals of Gastaldo. That Orange Goblin essence is a busty flavouring here but equally you can easily suggest a touch of Eagles of Death Metal to the vivacious appetite and energy of the song. It is ablaze from its first second and even with some clever twists and teasing from keys thereafter, never loses its lustful voracity. Imagination sparking invention is just as evident too and even more dramatic in the following Spacewalk. With samples and an on-going narrative offering a space flight with almost Robinson Crusoe like undertones, the track takes to the air with a magnetic shimmer and gentle melodic seducing. Thrusts of intensity led by caustic riffs and heavily swung drums pierce the beauty of the ambience drifting across the track, the burst bringing intermittent and eventually sustained tempestuousness to the bewitching encounter.
Both the intimidatingly sturdy Bare Knuckle with its mouth-watering rhythmic shuffle and sonic flaming against the charming ambience of the keys, and the soulful Born To Suffer have ears and imagination wrapped up in their designs and melodic colours. The first from a contagious ruggedness slips across sultry climes of sonic and provocative textures whilst the second with a blues toned melodic croon smoulders and entices with captivating charm before sparking with classic metal seeded enterprise. Neither quite matches their predecessors, though Bare Knuckle makes a thick challenge, but both leaves senses and thoughts riveted before Lies Of Mind flexes its striking musical and inventive muscles for a bruising and infectious slab of space rock toned rock ‘n’ roll. As most songs there are plenty of twists and unpredictable surprises employed, without going overboard, leaving ears and emotions greedy and equally a quite inescapable anthemic tendency.
Try To Save The Appearances also has a broader rock ‘n’ roll character to its heavy persuasion, stoner and psych rock colluding in a tempestuous and wholly tempting charge which at times, as elsewhere on the album, has hints of Monsterworks to it as well as that of Karma To Burn. It is a glorious incitement leaving just the instrumental elegance and heated soundscape of NGC 2244 to bring the album’s flight to a tantalising close.
Space Muffin might have a weak title but within its walls it is one thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating adventure. Kayleth’s album does not truly surprise too often but leaves ears blissful and satisfaction over flowing, thus a release to heartily recommend.
Space Muffin is available via Argonauta Records now @ http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/47-kayleth-space-muffin-cd.html
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