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Kiss Kiss - The Meek Shall Inherit What's Left Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.75
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Final Verdict: 87%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.44
Musicianship 9.44
Lyrics 8.69
Production 9.19
Creativity 9.81
Lasting Value 9.56
Reviewer Tilt 9.88
Average: 94%
Inside AP.net

Kiss Kiss - The Meek Shall Inherit What's Left

Reviewed by: Travis Parno (07/07/09)
Kiss KissThe Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left
Record Label: Eyeball Records
Release Date: July 7, 2009

Kiss Kiss albums should come with warning labels. Something like:

WARNING! Do NOT under any circumstances listen to this album if you’re coming off of any music that is cute, chilled-out, whimsical, relaxing, and/or at all cathartic.

The first time I tuned in to The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left, I had just switched over from Regina Spektor’s Far. The shock to my senses was so great that I spent the rest of the day detoxing with Bon Iver while my brain hugged its knees to its chin and slowly rocked itself under a warm shower. Hyperbole? Perhaps. Based in fact? Certainly.

Even those who are familiar with Kiss Kiss’ penchant for the loud and off-kilter will be stunned by their latest effort. Seven of the album’s eleven tracks clock in at less than three minutes, each one changing tempos at breakneck speeds. The band leaps from muted keys to Eastern European-influenced violin to blankets of reverb within seconds, guided by Josh Benash’s twisted vocals. First he’s shrieking, then he’s crying, then he’s cooing, then he’s shrieking again. Throughout the 43 minutes of The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left, we’re simply not given any time to catch our breath.

The opening number in this symphony of confusion is “The Best Mistake,” a rock tune that crackles with an ominous tide of distortion before diving into crunching guitars and wailing violin. “I don’t care anymore,” cries Benash as the strings loom over him, desperately mimicking his anguish. Then suddenly we’re thrust into “Plague #11,” a schizophrenic head-trip that vaults violently from unsettling dissonance to whispered admonishments cast over keys. It is arguable that a violin has never been so effectively emotive in rock music than when it’s in hands of Rebecca Schlappich. It’s to the point that the instrument becomes a character in and of itself, narrating the insanity alongside Benash’s panicked vocals.

The raucous rock of “All They Draw” contrasts briefly with the bell-like keys introduced in the obnoxiously titled “Innocent I (The Corruption of Self through the Introduction of Naturally Existing Self Producing Chemicals).” It’s not long (i.e., seven seconds) before the guitars crash through the quiet, the pace picks up, and we’re off again. The tempo, tide-like, continues to ebb and flow and we see the band at its most frenzied. At this point, it’s almost too much, but after a mere 2:23, the album cascades into the deliberate iridescence of “Innocent II (A Drop from the Ethereal; Swimming towards the Crescent Moon).” The song is slower, but no less chaotic, somehow appearing beautiful in its bedlam. After the trip, we’re given a (comparatively) lengthy two-plus minutes of hazy synth instrumentals to get a loose bearing before the swaggering “Hate” marches onto the scene. Decked in deep brass, huge drums, and flourishing strings, it’s got all the pomp and circumstance of a crazy parade and twice the energy.

It’s easy to mistake Benash’s softer tones in the alluring “Through the Day” for weariness, but he’s got more than enough spirit left to command the massive “If They Only Knew.” Pitting itself against the world, it’s the last anthem of a dying society. The 16 minute closer, “Virus,” begins much like most other Kiss Kiss songs before falling victim to itself around the six minute mark. Like a delirious patient of some unknown plague, Benash mutters and screams gibberish over a hypnotic, contorting mass of suspended synths for five full minutes before finally falling silent. His voice drowns in the reverb and we assume he’s lost. Another five minutes and it’s all over.

Listening to Kiss Kiss is the musical equivalent of getting drawn and quartered and with The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left, the horses are champing at the bit.You won’t see any warning on the label so I’ll give you one right now. Be prepared to be swept up and taken to the strange, asymmetrical world of Kiss Kiss. Be prepared for dissonance. Be prepared to be challenged. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself hugging your knees to your chin, slowly rocking yourself under a warm shower.

Track List1. The Best Mistake
2. Plague #11
3. Haunted by the Beauty of an Imperfection
4. All They Draw
5. Innocent I (The Corruption of Self through the Introduction of Naturally Existing Self Producing Chemicals)
6. Innocent II (A Drop from the Ethereal; Swimming towards the Crescent Moon)
7. Iiiiiiiiiii
8. Hate
9. Through the Day
10. If They Only Knew
11. Virus

Give it a try if you like…Godspeed You Black Emperor!; The Dresden Dolls; Gogol Bordello; Pink Floyd

Hear it on the internetzOfficial Myspace
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32.
05:38 PM on 07/07/09
#2
saysmydoctor
Resident New Yorker
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AotY, amazing review.
06:21 PM on 07/07/09
#3
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
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Great review. Stoked to give this a listen
06:38 PM on 07/07/09
#4
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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I'm trying to like this. Trying is the key word. It reminds me so much of Gogol Bordello.
Hopefully in due time, I start digging it. For now, it just leaves me dizzy and spent.
06:46 PM on 07/07/09
#5
NorthstarPark
Jiggin'
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I need this now. I might order off Amazon or somewhere and download it so I can have it until my physical copy comes. I know thats wrong but gosh damnit I need this. I've been looking forward to this forever. Great review.
07:51 PM on 07/07/09
#6
maker_break
We are not our failures
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This band is awesome. Gotta love that electric violin.
08:47 PM on 07/07/09
#7
MusicScoutJustn
Independent Promoter
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Hate is brilliant.
09:44 PM on 07/07/09
#8
superBMRuth
sheeeeeeeeeeeeeit
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this made me very interested. i'll have to add this to my "to check out" list
05:14 AM on 07/08/09
#9
Travis Parno
my sensible heart
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I loved thier first album and am stoked to hear this. I haven't heard anything off it yet. How does it compare to Reality vs. the Optimist?
better in almost all regards
06:17 AM on 07/08/09
Blakebear
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Great Review.

Somehow I never managed to pick up their first album despite loving all the songs I heard.
06:28 AM on 07/08/09
g00dbye
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I loved thier first album and am stoked to hear this. I haven't heard anything off it yet. How does it compare to Reality vs. the Optimist?

While I think this new album is pretty great, I do think that TMSIWL is has less catchy songs than Reality and more in-your-face tracks that are sure to impress. Basically, with the new album, I feel that you are trading catchiness for creativity.
06:49 AM on 07/08/09
mycuban
hermits.bandcamp.com
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I love this record, i find it to be highlighting of the best parts of R V. O. they did a bang up job with this one.
06:51 AM on 07/08/09
Keagan Ilvonen
@KeaganIlvonen
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Awesome job. Kiss Kiss are fucking great. Good album.
06:53 AM on 07/08/09
Travis Parno
my sensible heart
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While I think this new album is pretty great, I do think that TMSIWL is has less catchy songs than Reality and more in-your-face tracks that are sure to impress. Basically, with the new album, I feel that you are trading catchiness for creativity.
definitely, very good call here.
07:07 AM on 07/08/09
thehereaway
snickers at the swine flu
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I enjoyed Reality vs The Optimist, but i'm not really feeling this one...at all
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