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KEN Mode: Success


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From Stereogum:
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“The title of KEN Mode’s upcoming album, Success, feels at least a little sarcastic. Even to the extent a discordant, abrasive noise/hardcore/metal band can achieve “success,” it’s of a tenuous sort. But in many ways, KEN Mode are the model of that success: The band’s two constant members — brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson (vocals/guitar and drums, respectively) — were working as accountants till 2011, at which point they decided to quit their day jobs and make music their full-time gig. Success! That means near-endless touring, playing small venues with similarly loud, unwashed bands, broken up only by the occasional chance to record a new album, followed by more touring. Success! But as accountants, KEN Mode know how to work with lean margins, and as Muay Thai practitioners, they’ve developed almost superhuman discipline, and they’ve survived by living frugally and producing maximal yields from scant resources. As such, KEN Mode were ideal candidates to work with Steve Albini — and that doesn’t even take into account their sonic similarities to such Albini-assisted artists as Mclusky and the Jesus Lizard. Success is the Matthewson brothers’ first collaboration with the minimalist engineer. (This time around, the band’s bassist is Skot Hamilton — he’s at least the seventh person to play that role over the last 15 years.) As you might expect, it’s a paint-peeling, concussion-inducing assault, introducing tiny elements of pop into the band’s backdraft-surge sound. The title’s sarcasm matches Albini’s worldview, of course, but so too does the title’s idealism. The defeated-looking dude on the album’s cover looks like he makes pretty good money as, say, an accountant. He also looks like he’d be a whole lot happier in a van, playing in a punk band. Success is what you make it, right?”
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Success is out now on Season Of Mist; stream the whole thing below.
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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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