The Reign Of Kindo - This Is What Happens
Label - Candyrat Records
Release Date - August 3rd, 2010
In a way, this review is a punishment to myself. When delving into the world of music reviews, one should probably give themselves a few practice runs. Listen to something simple. Possibly a pop/rock EP, where you can use nouns like ‘neon’ and adjectives like ‘bubbly.’ In that case, what the hell am I doing? I’ve never written a full-length CD review before, and I choose The Reign Of Kindo’s new album This Is What Happens? I should feel way over my head. There’s key & time signature changes in the first 30 seconds of the opening track, and it’s hard to find a drumbeat that isn’t syncopated, yet I feel I can handle this task. How, you may ask? In the short time I’ve been aware of this band, I feel just as passionate about their music as they do.
As I stated before, this album starts with a bang, the spastic and epileptic opener ‘Thrill Of The Fall.’ Drummer Steven Padin comes in with his syncopated beat as if to say, ‘I hope it’s cool if we kick your ass this soon. Nothing personal.’ It’s a fitting title, as well, because within seconds, you feel the musical chair pulled from beneath you, and falling quickly, you struggle to grab for crashing cymbals and pulsating hammers and strings; anything to gain control of this musical barrage taking hold on you. Sadly for you, you’re falling for a while. It doesn’t end anytime soon; but that’s far from a downfall.
Now while many of their song titles would make great blog titles as well (‘Bullets In The Air,’ ‘Comfort In The Orchestration’), the lyricism and the song titles don’t really come into play until the album’s first true ballad ‘Symptom Of A Stumbling.’ A somber, yet pushing piano melody, courtesy of Kelly Sciandra, takes control of this song from the very beginning. Pair that with singer Joseph Secchiaroli’s clean, powerful voice powering ‘the weight of love is more than all the world’ through the chorus, and you have a recipe for a touching ballad chronicling a love that’s seen it all, good and bad, and just wants to make it through and live to see another day.
The album continues to jump around, up & down, off the walls & ceiling, for the next 25 minutes, like an over-zealous 8-year-old with a Skyball. Ballad to jazz, to indie (math) rock, then back to ballad, never missing a single beat, finally landing on ‘City Lights & Traffic Sounds,’ the album’s highest of highs. Sounding like a love child of Dave Brubeck & Quincy Jones, this album just screams ‘background music to your life.’ Not since ‘Blue Rondo A La Turk’ have I wanted to walk down the street in step to a song so badly, thinking of what this great sunny day could bring. It’s the perfect song to start off your descent back to Earth.
As musically talented as this band is, it’s not the main reason I love them. Watching a studio video of them, I realized something: they don’t want to be a genre. They don’t want to have an image. They don’t need that. Being labeled as a hipster indie/neo/soul/jazz/math/rock quintet is at the bottom of their list. Here’s a message to all the bands out there straightening their hair, and taking funny pictures holding Seether CD’s because they’re trying to be ironic. Take a lesson from The Reign Of Kindo, and focus on the music.
Now, I’ve been a musician for nearly ¾ of my life, and I’ve been proud of my abilities for about half that time. However, I’ve never felt completely in control of any of my designated instruments. Not once have I been under the influence that I can do anything I desire with a piano or a drum set. That is something that all five members of this band could more than likely say without doubt. They know and trust that whenever they brainstorm and record that what will come of it is going to be something completely and utterly unique. This Is What Happens when The Reign Of Kindo makes music; 13 tracks of solid gold. See, that wasn’t so tough.
I know I am late to the post party for this album but my God this is a great freaking album. I have probably listened to it at least 10 times at this point and literally every single time it has gotten better.
Just saw them in Grove City and their live performance is equally as good. Bands like this make me hate the mainstream even more than I already did.