Kitchens Of Distinction

3 Loop Music, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Kitchens Of Distinction’s new album in nearly 20 years might not be worthy of any fanfare and celebration. Firstly, these guys never ever did get much attention even during the best of their days. But in a way, this is one of the charming aspects of this band for everyone who discovered them; it’s also what made their previous four releases so special to this very group of fans. But releasing a fifth album so long after their last outing is never going to be as special as their earlier work, especially since the band and its fans have all moved on. And in a true KOD fashion, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Folly isn’t meant to be some sort of rekindling of the flames of the good old days.

Despite the fact that all three members have reunited to create this record, the band is as unassuming as ever. Fitzgerald, Swales and Goodwin sound at peace with where they are as far as age. There is a sense of relaxed contentment in this album; however, the band is not so relaxed and contended that they don’t have any teeth. And there is a lot of teeth to be found in Folly, especially in Fitzgerald’s words. This album thrives on exquisitely written dark and beautiful poetry. For instance, one of the most powerful and best songs here,  “Oak Tree,” begins like this: “Under an old oak tree; I found his young body; took him and his heart inside; promised him as my bride.” It ends poignantly with “Under an old apple tree / I scattered his dead body / To feed the orchard again / A rich source of calcium and my tears.”

It is apparent that the band did not make this album just for the sake of doing it. This is a different sounding group, but they make music that’s potent as ever and stirs emotion when they want to: “The Most Beautiful Day” with its hauntingly pensive melody is the saddest happy song ever. Even with these simple and upbeat (and only) words, “Today is the most beautiful day that I have ever lived,” it is almost impossible to hold back a tear listening to this track if you are a sentient being.

The lush KOD musical soundscape is still very much present on Folly. But listeners should keep their expectations in check. This band hasn’t been making music together for a very long time, and the musical dynamics are not the same as before. KOD is a far chilled out band and Folly is definitely not the band’s greatest record. However, the cool in this band is not dead yet.

Rating: B

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