It is fair to say that indie rockers KynchinLay made a potent impression on a great many with their Drink Me EP but now they return over a year later with its successor showing that as tasty and impressive though it was, the last encounter was only the appetiser to a mightier meal of invention and creative imagination. Dark Age is a compelling slice of shadowed drenched rock ‘n’ roll, five tracks which manage to roar, vent, and intimately seduce within their individual lengths and characters. If the last EP had you licking lips in enjoyment, the new offering from KynchinLay might just have you bellowing in delight.
Hailing from Liverpool, the core trio of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter K G Wilson, bassist Mal Williams, and drummer Damien Welsh has openly pushed on in songwriting, sound, and imagination with their new release. There is a fresh maturity and roundedness to all songs providing a consistent incitement of temptation across the release which arguably was lacking or certainly less imposing with Drink Me. The previous encounter also had a healthy and enjoyable essence of artists like Echo and the Bunnymen and even more so Pete Wylie to it but Dark Age is something hard to reference to anyone with its own unique personality of sound.
Again their music offers a mix of rock, punk, indie, and power pop but it is a much darker and aggressively gripping tonic of sound this time around, as instantly evidenced by the explosive start to first track I Be Hopin. Drums immediately descend with a lively swagger of beats, an anthemic lure swiftly embraced by a sonic wind and an almost rabid scourge of industrial bred riffs. Once a tangy hook emerges too persuasion is a done deal though the sudden relaxing into a mellow vocal and melody clad hug takes ears and thoughts by surprise. It is also initially disappointing see the passing of such an outstanding start but KynchinLay soon has new this intimacy of sound and expression strolling with contagion and alluring enterprise. The air of the song also openly moves along, intensifying with every passing chord and sonic flirtation to create a tempestuous landscape of sound and emotion employing the essence of that tremendous opening again. The result is a climax which is as menacingly fiery as it is feistily captivating.
The following Wide Awake opens on an acoustic guitar and vocal croon, a gentle tempting which has little difficulty courting satisfaction and intrigued attention to its evocative rock pop shuffle. It is another song which builds up a more volatile atmosphere and intensity as sultry flames colour the emotive walls of the song around the great mix of vocals from across the band. The track enthrals, holding ears and appetite easily before departing for Back To What She Knows. Entering on a deliciously throaty bassline scythed through by evocative sonic invention, the encounter twists into a mouth-watering dark rock ‘n’ roll enticement. Its touch is spicy and it’s bewitching climate a sweltering embrace of tangy melodic drama. Wilson‘s vocals bring a great tempering to the sizzling heat of the song though, his tones flirting with a monotone, deceptively expressionless delivery but he gets it spot on and only accentuates all the surf rock like theatre around him. The best track on the EP, it leaves a smile on the face and in the emotions with ease.
Another round of infectious rhythmic bait opens up BatJazz next, a proposition evolving from a psychobilly like lure of grooves and hooks into a lighter pop rock stroll with a funky reggae infused gait. There is still a shadow rich air and presence to the song though which only adds to the adventure, a toning which inspires the subsequent sinister climax which sees the return of that irresistible opening sound this time in hand with a great exotic and mystique wrapped ingenuity.
The EP ends with Shudder, a classic slab of rock ‘n’ roll in anyone’s book. It is fair to say it is not a track designing new templates but holds heavy satisfaction in its hands with rock music crafted and energised in passion and more essential flavours than found on a recipe card. It is old school and modern rock ‘n’ roll united and a thoroughly enjoyable climax to one thrilling encounter.
In many ways KynchinLay has come of age with Dark Age yet you still sense there is plenty more still to be discovered and explored within them. Good exciting times ahead we suspect.
The Dark Age EP is available now via http://kynchinlay.bandcamp.com/
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