The Reign of Kindo - Play With Fire
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Record Label: CANdYRAT Records
After listening to The Reign of Kindo’s newest musical blessing I was torn. Give the album an eighty-eight, or give it a ninety? An eighty-eight isn’t bad at all - hell, it’s only twelve points away from a perfect hundred! An eighty-eight is a good score, I decided.
I also decided that Play With Fire is better than that. It is completely deserving of a ninety. The Reign of Kindo are one of the most talented and creative bands in our scene. They’ve already proven it four times (counting This is Also What Happens), and they’ve done it again, just to erase any doubt.
Before I get too much into the good (great), I’ll tell you that there certainly is some bad here- the singles. “Feeling in the Night,” the first song released, has a strange Eastern vibe and its thin chorus is somewhat irritating. It doesn’t help that it’s the longest song on the record too, at five and a half minutes. “Sunshine,” the other single, is the poppiest song Kindo has ever released, with a repetitive (but annoyingly catchy) chorus of “Doesn’t that feel better?” followed by ah-ah-ahs. These songs are the most accessible on the album, but are easily the worst.
Luckily, the other ten tracks are exactly what’s expected of Kindo - top-notch jazz music. Take the horn-laden opener “The Hero, the Saint, the Tyrant, and the Terrorist,” the lush “Don’t Haze Me,” the swelling “Sing When No One is Around.” Joseph Secchiarolli’s vocals soar on “Impossible World” in particular, which paints a scene of a dimly-lit jazz club. It’s unfair to single out this song however- he sounds spectacular throughout the whole record. “Sing When No One is Around” features one of his best lyrical verses to date: ” If I say ‘Love’/ you might think of your heartache/ or the bliss that a lover can bring/ if I say ‘God’/ you might think of a man sitting high in the clouds/ or a glory that the word fails to sound.” Steve Padin’s drumming is spot on, as would be expected by now. Danny Pizzaro, Jr., the band’s newest addition, makes his debut on this record – and what an introduction, his piano leading the album’s opener as well as the beautiful “Romancing a Stranger.”
As good as the rest of the album is, it’s the closing songs that make Play With Fire great. “I Hate Music” is the angriest song the band has penned (short of that one about murdering the guy on Christmas), in which the band damns “that garbage on the air,” the “tool just sitting at the desk pulling the strings,” and the made-for-radio musicians who “threw their souls out for attention and fame.” Its frustrated message is somewhat betrayed by its vibrant instrumentation and infectious chorus, making for one of the best songs in the Reign of Kindo’s discography. It also leads perfectly into the beautiful finale, “The Man, the Wood, and the Stone.” A minutelong horn introduction gives way to Sechiarolli’s storytelling and a theatrical climax before the songs winds back down to just the piano and vocals again and your experience has ended. (Hint: listen to this album on repeat.) What more should I say? If this is what the Reign of Kindo call music, well, I love music.
they used to sound a lot lot lot like Mae, but now ten years later have been getting progressively more complex (like, The Receiving End of Sirens level of complex) along with getting progressively more jazzy (think Miles Davis) to the point where they switched from being a rock band with jazz influences to now being a jazz band with rock influences.
They are also famous for the youtube videos, because watching them play their stuff is just impressively fantastic. Don't just listen - watch them.
This might sound weird, but I've always placed them on a spectrum of awesomeness, squarely in the middle with Foo Fighters on one far end and Dave Koz on the other, hahahah
Do you understand what I mean by Eastern vibe? Haha. I just want to make sure I'm not crazy.
i don't know man, the way they work the 5/4 time signature throughout the song is just crazy awesome in my opinion. I think the song showcases how subtle and classy their skills and technique have become