Not only did the release of Made In China, the second album from Welsh alternative rockers Kyshera, in 2012 ignite a lusty appetite and passion for the band’s sound and invention right here it also declared a coming of age of a band already stirring up the UK music scene. It was a stunning fusion of styles and intense flavours defying classification whilst sparking a fresh exploration of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It was a pinnacle which you could not complain if the band had merely continued to emulate its success with its successor. But this is Kyshera and they have pushed things on again with new album Circle. It is a release which in many ways has toned down the band’s ‘deranged’ inventive attack of sound this time around yet everything about it from songwriting, imagination, and again sheer diversity is a kaleidoscope of new maturity and irresistible enterprise.
Kyshera (pronounced K-eye-she-ra) consists of vocalist/guitarist James Kennedy, bassist Matt Warr, and drummer Glyn Bateman, the latter joining the band between Circle and its predecessor. Made In China was as mentioned a wake-up call for a new horde of fans and media interest towards the Cardiff trio, a tsunami of warped inventiveness and melodic ferocity which ignited ears and imagination with invention and ease. Circles does the same but with a less dramatic onslaught of startling wrong-footing moments, showing less incendiary twists of gait, time changes, and conflicting yet seamlessly entangling styles. This is not to say that it does not have moments of ingenious unpredictability though, just less dramatic and more smoothly infused ones. It would be fair to say that personally those mouth-watering moments of psychotic adventure are missed at times but replaced by explorations which simply catch the breath with their creative grandeur, the band again simply igniting the passions.
Circle is a concept album based around the tale of a “central character and the journey of his life in the modern age. His rise from the bottom to the top of our consumerist, celebrity culture only to realise that in doing so, it came at the price of losing everything that was ‘real’ and on the last song, he dies alone.” The exploration of death, morality, celebrity, love, and consequence begins with opener Napoleon, a track which in its first breath is stirring up rigorous attention and involvement from ears and emotions. Rhythms pound with intensive hunger whilst a sonic mist brews around an early scrub of riffs. It is an initial coaxing which only intensifies as thick hooks and melodic enterprise colludes with the expressive tones of Kennedy and the throaty lures of Warr’s bass. Though subsequently relaxing a little, the song does not hang around and swiftly turns into an even spicier creative roar, returning to the more aggressive and voracious essences which it started with whilst spinning a web of diversely flavoured and inventively intriguing exploits. Groove metal and melodic rock merge with electro mischief and grungy tenacity as the track continues to grow and seduce with increasing imagination.
It is an imposingly impressive start matched immediately by the scintillating stomp of Behind These Lies. Weaving in mouth-watering nu metal revelry and quirkiness, the track strides and prowls ears, revolving through varied gaits and flavours to create a Korn meets Manic Street Preachers meets System Of A Down like devilry. The track is superb, an unrelenting temptation laying an addictive and rebellious bait of metal and heavy rock which is emulated through its own unique design by Demon straight after. The third song has a similar attitude and creative nature but an even rawer snarl and a stronger whiff of the just mentioned Welsh rockers to its captivating persuasion. The track is an inescapable anthem, vocally and musically a tenacious call to arms for senses and imagination with, as the previous songs, a very healthy twisted ingenuity in its otherwise direct and raucous rock ‘n’ roll.
New single Gone steps up next, an inviting if unspectacular harmonic croon within a melodic bellow with a southern twang to its expression and acoustic elegance to its emotive touch. Personal tastes determine it is the full-blooded stomps which go down most riotously in tastes but there is no avoiding the increasing potency of the song and the fresh ideation emerging in the band’s new direction of sound. Its smouldering persuasion is followed by the pop rock bred The Wrong Size, a magnetic stroll swiftly involving the energy and voice of the listener , pleasingly setting them up for the outstanding Break This. Courting emotional and sonic shadows in its tempestuous web of emotive discord and musical intensity, the track blazes with rich grooves and sharp hooks, they in turn aligned to fuzzy electronics and turbulent rhythms. It is imposing and contagious, a master-class of dark and light in one furious yet inviting creative outpouring.
Endgame leaps at ears right after, no breath allowed to be swallowed as its invigorated dance of vocal and sonic bedlam bounds over the senses with vivacious appetite. It is a funk fest of pulsating basslines and swinging hooks, almost pop punk at times with leanings to electro rock in other enticing moments, and a constant revolving shuffle of diverse and unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.
The entrance of Coma next is spellbinding, simple vocal lures cast by Kennedy resonating in the psyche as they bask in the effects accentuating their coaxing. The song is soon providing a fiery and provocative mix of sonic and emotional turbulency with reflective and haunting balladry, its persuasion a transfixing and fascinating slice of songwriting and sound with simplicity as gripping as its fierce invention and claustrophobically atmospheric beauty. It is a creeping darkness contrasted by the fire like radiance and energy of Inertia which follows with its Manics meets Soundgarden like proposal. An early taster of the album as a single, the track provides a lingering pleasure matched by the more explosive but similarly melodically blazing Helen. Reminding of fellow Brits An Entire Legion, the song is a rugged and robust incitement unafraid to allow its rage and seduction to simultaneously embrace the listener.
The heavy funk romp of Full Circle strides in rigorously right after, offering a heavy rock swagger with punkish attitude as grooves and hooks enslave attention, though all is outshone by the mesmeric vocal and melodic smile of keys within the sturdy charge of the track. As you should assume here, and in all songs, there is much more going on though, heavy and classic rock a strong additional breeze and unpredictability permeating this particular impressive offering.
Circle comes to a close with acoustic ballad The End, a song which satisfies without leaving a deep mark but as a musical and lyrical epilogue to the premise of the album, ensures a potent closure. The album as a whole is simply outstanding, not a greater beast than Made In China but certainly a just as enthralling, and thrilling, unique continuation of the band’s masterful invention which in turn creates another unmissable proposition from one of the UK’s most exciting and inventive bands.
Circle is available from March 16th through Konic Records @ https://kyshera.bandcamp.com/album/circle
In April, the band embarks on their UK wide ‘Full Circle’ Tour, stopping at:
15th April – Cardiff, The Globe
16th April – Brighton, The Albert
17th April – Harlow, The Square
18th April – London, Underworld
21st April – Wolverhampton, Robin 2
23rd April – Nottingham, Rock City
24th April – Selby, The Riverside
25th April – Sheerness, The Ivy
16th May – Sheffield, The Mulberry
**Support comes from Gooding and The Broken Chords**
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