Kylesa - To Walk a Middle Course LP Vinyl

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Side One

  1. In Memory
  2. Fractured
  3. Train of Thought
  4. Motion and Presence
  5. Welcome Mat to an Abandoned Life
  6. Bottom Line
  7. Eyes Closed From Birth
  8. Shatter the Clock
  9. Phantoms
  10. Crashing Slow

Release Date:

Label: Alternative Tentacles

Origin: USA

In the few years since Savannah (Georgia, USA) quartet Kylesa formed in 2001, there's been no end of recorded output from the multi-vocalist group made up of vocalist/bassist Corey Barhorst, vocalists/guitarists Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants and drummer Brandon Baltzley. After releasing five seven inch singles, a twelve inch single, two EPs (including a split with Cream Abdul Babar) and their debut self titled full length, the tri vocalist attack of punk-metallers Kylesa returns with To Walk A Middle Course. The sludgy beginnings of In Memory shine back towards old school crossover like tones thanks to the excellent production of ex-Nailbomb and ex-Fudge Tunnel mastermind Alex Newport (At The Drive In, The Melvins) as the begins the albums' movement throughout a mish-mash of musical styles from punk to hardcore to metal. The varied styles continue with the schizophrenic and sometimes disjoint sounding (and appropriately titled) Fractured. Train Of Thought returns to a more staple sound of sludgy, driving riffs and instantly stands as one of the strongest tracks on the album before seamlessly segueing into the soft, moody, almost psychedelic guitars of Motion And Presence. The interestingly titled Welcome Mat To An Abandoned Life is equally as interesting from a musical perspective with ringing guitars pinning the underlying substance of the slow moving track. Bottom Line and Eyes Closed From Birth rock along in more of a punkish manner at times but both fall short of offering anything of real value overall sans a few moments here and there. Even the chunky, grinding guitars of Shatter The Clock don't show a lot of promise and the bizarre Phantoms, which takes the best part of two minutes to get going, really falls short of achieving anything. Rounding out the album is a the bass driven moody instrumental piece Crashing Slow with plenty of smooth clean guitars and soft drumming that feels like the return journey from a chaotic trip that gently returns the listener to reality. To Walk A Middle Course is a challenging listen. The first half of the album is much stronger and a little heavier feeling overall but the second half still has its moments, particularly the instrumental closer. It's a little hit and miss and the cleaner intelligible vocals are sure to upset a few long time fans that prefer the cookie monster approach. Still, if you're up for a challenge and something a little different, then you could do worse than Kylesa's latest effort. - Simon Milburn ( November 11, 2005)