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Krill: A Distant Fist Unclenching

From Consequence Of Sound:
“Boston rockers Krill may only be on their third album, but they have an ever-expanding cult following that trails them with unflinching devotion. For them, Krill’s music is modern medicine. Following the semi-concept EP Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts into Tears, the band that loves poop jokes is moving on to embrace life’s uncertainties on A Distant Fist Unclenching. They’re serving another round of questions on existentialism and anxiety, but this time Krill aren’t expecting answers. They’ve learned to let go of whatever trivial consolation those hold. With a comical shrug, the trio explore self-love, self-hate, and the ambiguous meaning of self-worth through a lens of rejection. A Distant Fist Unclenching uses rock as a vehicle for storytelling, and more often than not it grapples with mental illness. On “Brain Problem”, jittery tempos whip dramatic guitar lines in circles, rocketing forward with the band’s trademark fury thanks to Ian Becker’s drumming. “God grant me strength to know what is a brain problem and what is just me,” sings bassist Jonah Furman, later adding, “And I know just ’cause it’s not getting better now doesn’t mean it won’t.” He sings with a carelessness that becomes inherently sad, the tone of someone so burnt out from over-thinking that any and all conclusions ring futile. As closer “It Ends” comes in right after, Krill sound exhausted, and rightfully so. They have just run through so many philosophical conversations veiled in Twitter jargon that depression, anxiety, and panic attacks only add to the weight. The album’s peak comes when Krill resolve to make peace with life’s bitter irony on “Tiger”, a sprawling seven-minute number about overcoming anxiety. “I had a bad day, but at least it’s ending,” Furman sings, telling the story of a villager who is eaten by a tiger despite being “well-liked.” Like the beloved subject at hand, the song rolls back and forth, pulsing with warped bass and slippery guitar arpeggios that cushion Furman’s words until the drums collide violently. If the suddenness of a panic attack could make a sound, this would be it. Furman’s bass wobbles beside his lyrics about the ups and downs of the day. It all feels dizzying yet familiar. Then the three pummel noise straight into the speakers, a final salute before forking over self-control and sinking into the darkness. Labeling Krill as “slacker rock” would overlook their bizarre mix. There’s post-rock, prog rock, and indie rock in here, a fascinating balance of the shambolic and psychotic; being able to make it appear casual speaks to the strength of their songwriting. They’re passive-aggressive toward themselves, but with the Dostoevsky-inspired “Torturer” and role-playing as God on “Fly”, they’re making peace with the past and allowing themselves to reflect. This is a band that has found its footing. They meditate on rejection with hyper-aware indifference, a confidence old and new fans alike can welcome warmly.”
A Distant Fist Unclenching is out now via Exploding In Sound; listen to “Torturer” below.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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