With a sound fluid in its embracing of psychedelic rock, sixties garage rock, and eighties/nineties fuzz/alt rock, Scottish outfit The Kundalini Genie has just unveiled their new album, Half In, Half Out, and again proved theirs is a wholly fresh and compelling proposition.
Glasgow bred, The Kundalini Genie centres around singer-songwriter Robbie Wilson (sitar, guitar, vocals), a proposition casting a spell of fascination with their new and fifth full-length. Mixed by Jason Shaw (Cambodian Space Project, Frankie Teardrop, Sonic Jesus, Aerofall) and mastered by Ride’s Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studio in Oxford, Half In, Half Out swiftly reveals, despite the host of flavours and influences such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized, The Beatles, and The 13th Floor Elevators and others it draws from, it is its very own flight of sound and imagination.
Motherfucker kicks the album off, the track instantly grabbing ears with its initial guitar hook and subsequently its unhurried almost arrogant swing which instantly got under the skin. Wilson’s vocals are just as unforced and confident, being accompanied by the infectious grin of backing vocals and a rhythmic stroll which offers its own contagious manipulation. It is an outstanding start to the release, an infection loaded incitement gripping keen enthusiasm to further explore Half In, Half Out.
The following Stupid Girl similarly has an inherent catchiness which cannot be denied from the song’s first breath. Straightaway the instinctive swing of the track is brewing contagion, hips and bones in quick union with its addictive saunter as fuzz lit guitars and equally frizzy edged vocals add to the temptation while So Far Away with swarthy surf shimmers and intimate guitar melodies brings a contrasting but no less magnetic slowly drawling gait to the growing enterprise of the album.
It is a landscape which continues to reveal new aspects as the likes of Honey turns a kaleidoscope of melodic and emotional intimation within tempestuous but restrained sonic winds and When She Smiles bears an increasingly fiery seduction. As throughout the release, there is a sense and hint of emotional storm at the heart of tracks which is reflected in the sonic and emotional breath they share, the album’s title track no exception within its eighties hued psych ‘n’ roll within a voracious eddy of sonic dexterity.
There is a devilment to Turning Away in its hooks and enterprise which grabbed favourite track honours in quick time. The track is another rock ‘n’ roll bred, psych rock shaped incitement revelling in its own design of twist and turns, each of those adding greater infectious endeavour to the enticement greedily devoured; a prowess as ably nurtured within It Didn’t Mean That Much (To Mean That Much to You). There is something of a House Of Love meets Oasis film to the ballad as again new facets to the album and Wilson’s songwriting come forth.
With the earnest melodies and emotive breath of All Your Love (Shines On) an evocative serenade and the closing Outro an acoustic spun flight into celestial captivation, Half In, Half Out made for one fascinating pleasure. With every listen it has grown in presence to become the finest exploration with The Kundalini Genie yet.
Half In, Half Out is out now via OX4 Sound; available @ https://the-kundalini-genie.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 16/12/2021
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