By James Barager
Riffs like Converge with just a touch of early Neurosis. Lyrics like a free form poetry beatnik. Vocals like Henry Rollins (not Rollins’ vocals for Black Flag, mind you. More along the lines of his spoken word performances). Of course, there is also that Amphetamine Reptile chaotic noise rock injection to consider. All told, Winnipeg’s KEN mode is a bizarre and difficult beast. On their sixth album Success, the vocals have zigzagged oddly.
It’s difficult to say if this new style of vocals makes KEN mode more or less accessible in comparison to their previous five full-lengths. At the end of the day though, whether the singing is simply just talking, or the shouting style found on 2013’s Entrench (and on Mennonite (2008) and Mongrel (2003), but who’s counting), it doesn’t make a huge difference. This is ultimately just another KEN mode album. If you’re already a fan of this trio, this will be a welcome addition to your music collection. If not…. well that’s your loss, now isn’t it?KEN mode, Success