AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Kiven - Step EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 85%
Member Ratings
No one has rated this album. You can be the first.
Inside AP.net

Kiven - Step EP

Reviewed by: Matthew Tsai (03/11/12)
Kiven - Step EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: March 6th, 2012


My favorite thing about Step is that it has that indie blues sound I always wished Thrice would explore. “On Through,” “The Blur Ensues” and “The Irony” all make use of dimly lit lounge vibes that give way to guitarist Danny Schnair’s soulful and electrifying notes. See, on Step, Kiven is no longer just another band trying to emulate their heroes – they’re looking inward now, crafting their own sound. The result is a collection of massive crescendos, exciting experimentation and more than anything, music that just sounds good.

Step can be divided into two halves on a surface level look, with the first centered on aggression. “Release” opens with a symphony of discordant sounds and dissonant notes a la The Mars Volta, and then pulls it together for a chorus filled with guitars that saw their way through the melody. It’s got the type of raw energy they had going on in their fall 2010 single “Find the Time,” but here everything is much more fleshed out and tightly executed. “On Through” is calculated – that pompous opening riff has got to have some math rock influence to it, right? – but it works much the same way in terms of energy, slowly building to a no holds barred rock out session. This is the first song where you get the sense that Kiven is really coming into their own. The way they use the organ in the chorus and integrate the closing cadence (which wouldn’t sound out of place in a metalcore track) is unique and quite frankly, just really fun.

The other half is focused on elements of finesse. Starting with the piano interlude “Fires and Frames,” the tempo slows and the EP becomes all about intricacy. The angsty “The Blur Ensues” isn’t shy about getting bluesy, contrasting pleas to “come break me” with icy, mournfully picked notes. Front man Tyler Demorest is at his best here, hitting soprano pitches seemingly effortlessly – though we already knew he could do that from Two In the Same. “The Irony” is more of a reprise: It opens lethargically, but by the 4-minute mark, everyone’s pounding on their instruments.

At the risk of sounding cliché, what Kiven have created here is really something special. Step is by no means a perfect product, but there are so many aspects of it that are just downright intriguing. If there’s one band that “oozes potential” right now, it’s Kiven, and this EP invigorates my anticipation for what’s to come like few other albums have lately. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s finally a band bringing blues into alternative rock, or maybe it’s the spacey atmosphere I’ve been in the mood for lately. Ultimately, though, the specific reasons don’t matter as much as the fact that Step is just patently well done.

8.5/10

Recommended If You LikeThrice, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, The Mars Volta


Stream/buy the album.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
11:52 PM on 03/11/12
#2
JoshSalas
.
Offline
User Info.
JoshSalas's Avatar
Intriguing.

Nicely written review as well.
11:55 PM on 03/11/12
#3
burningwine
you never heard one goddamned word
Offline
User Info.
burningwine's Avatar
So excited to hear this. These guys are just stellar.
01:13 AM on 03/12/12
#4
Palestinian
Unregistered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I can't find a fucking stream for this album anywhere... They need to put one up.
01:21 AM on 03/12/12
#5
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
Offline
User Info.
Gregory Robson's Avatar
Minus the Bear and The Volta, you say? Interest=piqued.
05:42 AM on 03/12/12
#6
i_am_near_main
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
i_am_near_main's Avatar
I can't find a fucking stream for this album anywhere... They need to put one up.
Spotify?
06:05 AM on 03/12/12
#7
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Offline
User Info.
t00latef0rr0ses's Avatar
intriguing. will have to check this out when i get home from work. Also, great review man.
07:20 AM on 03/12/12
#8
Quijiba
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Quijiba's Avatar
the RIYL piqued my interest and I was not disappointed. Pretty sweet EP
07:40 AM on 03/12/12
#9
Palestinian
Unregistered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I like your thinking. This EP is great.
07:57 AM on 03/12/12
Sam Zimmerman
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Sam Zimmerman's Avatar
Reminded me of The Reign of Kindo as well. Pretty cool.
08:05 AM on 03/12/12
brook183
@brooks_an
Offline
User Info.
brook183's Avatar
Streaming now!
08:54 AM on 03/12/12
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
Offline
User Info.
Matthew Tsai's Avatar
Reminded me of The Reign of Kindo as well. Pretty cool.
I actually do hear a little bit of that. And some Young the Giant (like "St. Walker") too.
01:11 PM on 03/12/12
SmallFrailBoy
Offline
User Info.
SmallFrailBoy's Avatar
I actually do hear a little bit of that. And some Young the Giant (like "St. Walker") too.
How about As Tall As Lions? He has that dreamy, sleepy voice thing going on.
01:20 PM on 03/12/12
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
Offline
User Info.
Matthew Tsai's Avatar
How about As Tall As Lions? He has that dreamy, sleepy voice thing going on.
Yes! Pretty spot on with that one.
04:49 AM on 03/13/12
baton
ftfmusic.net
Offline
User Info.
baton's Avatar
haven't been this excited to check out a new band - can't wait to find the time to listen trough the exclusive stream
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm