Release Date: Apr 2, 2013
Record label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Space Rock
It’s been six years since we last heard from Kinski and I figured they were done. 2007’s Down Below It’s Chaos featured a band that sounded like it was trying to escape its own skin, veering between their drifting space-rock origins and bludgeoning hard rock. When a band sounds that tired of what it made its name doing on its own record, it can be forgiven for hanging it up afterward.
Full of gritty power-chord sizzle but numb where it counts, Kinski’s first record of the decade is anything but exciting. The long-running Seattle space-rock-cadets’ sometimes-tricky rhythms can’t save Cosy Moments from uniform blandness. “Last Day on Earth” and “Conflict Free Diamonds” provide much-needed shine to a dull set. Chris Martin’s voice is unremarkable but inoffensive on the non-instrumentals, and while some of Cosy’s tones are satisfying, they don’t redeem its shortcomings.
The turns to ‘70s hard rock and gloomy grunge that first started diverging where we left off with the band six years ago on Down Below It’s Chaos are more apparent than ever on Cosy Moments. However, do we need a talented foursome, skilled in space rock and trippier textures merging psychedelic and propulsive post-punk, to show us how they can pull off sounds which 40 years ago passed for progress, if not a lucrative style? This sixth album left me, a faithful fan of their output, wondering. Matthew Reid Schwartz sang on the previous album.
In the 1960s, '70s, and '80s the German actor Klaus Kinski earned a reputation as the wild child of European cinema. His reputed sex addiction and the alleged indiscretions that came with it, tales of rampant egomania, and bizarre on-set behaviour earned him notoriety as the most idiosyncratic cinematic enigma of his time. Klaus wasn't just abstruse; he was seen as dangerous and exciting.
Seattle riff-mongers Kinski had been pushing out heavier and heavier hard psych sounds since their late-'90s formation by the time their productivity slowed following their 2007 album Down Below It's Chaos. While the band still played sporadically and released one-off collaborative recordings, five years passed between that album and sixth full-length Cosy Moments. In that time, Kinski switched labels, moving from Sub Pop to their next-door neighbor Kill Rock Stars, and also migrated somewhat stylistically, dropping the crunchier metal leanings of their last few albums for a more pop-infused look at their rolling, jagged psychedelic explorations.
Despite crackling to life in a lava bath of disintegrating guitar feedback, Kinski's sixth album takes a tentative step back from the apocalyptic post-rock pedigree. The Seattle quartet's hammer-down instrumental passages still evoke epic notions of riff-rock transcendence, but only three of the 10 tracks on Cosy Moments break the five-minute mark. Between shorter song lengths and the centrality of vocals, the album flirts with pop-oriented accessibility on several occasions.