A band that has been around as long as Kinski deserves to be cut some slack if they can’t remember whether they’ve now released seven or eight albums. Not long ago, the Seattle instrumental-ish rock group came back from a hiatus—the six-plus years between their 2007 album Down Below It’s Chaos and their 2013 return, Cosy Moments—that lasted longer than an average band’s entire lifespan. Factor in not just Don’t Climb on and Take the Holy Water (which Kinski released in 2004 when they were in between drummers and playing live as an improvisational trio called Herzog), but also the split LPs they’ve done with fellow space rockers Acid Mothers Temple and Paik, and it’s clear this one could have easily been called “7 (or 8, or 9, or…)”.
Kinski's ongoing effort to discover the secret of the universe through a journey into over-amped guitar riffs continues with clear and focused determination on 2015's 7 (Or 8). Anyone who has spent time with Kinski's catalog will not find a wealth of surprises here; these songs are built around elemental melodic structures, with guitarists Chris Martin and Matthew Reid-Schwartz riffing hard and occasionally bursting into solo explorations while bassist Lucy Atkinson and drummer Barrett Wilke lay down a backbeat heavy enough to support the heft of the guitar firepower hovering above them. With Kinski, it's always been a matter of how they do it rather than what they happen to do, and as usual, it's the band's distinctive approach that makes 7 (Or 8) click.
Kinski's last full-length, 2013's Cosy Moments, was more direct, more emphatic than their earlier work; 7 (or) 8 is a continuation of this. The album is buoyed by a distinct '90s alt-rock undercurrent throughout. "I Fell Like a Fucking Flower" starts with some interesting tonal qualities before diverting into a fuzzy version of Stone Temple Pilots' "Vaseline." The rumbling "Detroit Trickle Down" sounds like A Place to Bury Strangers covering My Bloody Valentine.
Kinski — 7 (or 8) (Kill Rockstars)Kinski’s 7 (or 8) — the title reflects even the band’s uncertainty about how many albums they’ve made — continues this Seattle band’s journey from drone psychedelicists to balls-out guitar rockers ( not that the two are necessarily opposite). Like every Kinski album since Alpine Static, it gestures towards straight, narrative-driven rock and roll without really embodying it. If D.Boone insisted that even short songs have a beginning, middle and end, Kinski seems fascinated with the churning, pulsing, never-ending middle.So, with “Detroit Trickle Down,” the opener and easy standout, we begin with an MBV-ish riff that spins off into dissonance, a dive into chaos.