East City Records, 2014

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


There is something about Kins’ music that goes further beyond just the way it sounds. It has a certain visceral impact, which, oddly enough, can be best deconstructed in conjunction with the neo-noir film Following, Christopher Nolan’s debut feature. Firstly, setting aside the fact that both Kins and my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Following come from the UK and the fact that both are debut efforts, one of their most striking similarities is how much they squeeze in during such little time.

Like the highly convoluted plot that Following manages to fit in its mere 70 minutes of running time, Kins seems like a much longer album than just 41 minutes because of its complex songs. Like the film’s unconventional non-linear plot structure, the song structures here are quite unusual, too; there are no apparent choruses on most of the numbers, as they keep plunging constantly into abstruse tune transitions.

There is a creepy sense of claustrophobia in the plot of Following, which revolves around a man following strangers around the streets of London. Similarly, there is a noir-ish, choking feeling to Kins’ music, with its doleful songs and cooing (sometimes creepy) singing, which, in more ways than one, has an undoubtedly Radiohead-esque flavor. However, Kins has a rawer and less accessible sound, which makes Radiohead’s music sound even less weird in contrast.

Akin to Following, a low budget movie with an inexperienced cast, this disc and its minimalist musical style sounds rough. But similar to the brilliant usage of black and white format of Following (which not only fits the premise of the movie, but at the same time, overcomes the lack of professional lighting), which seems totally befitting, the crudeness in Kins’ music fits the nature of their songs perfectly. All this results in an album that sounds totally fresh and poetic in its own way. All told, Kins makes for a fabulous soundtrack for a dark movie for the intelligent. It deserves acclaim similar to Following, despite the unassuming beginnings of both.

Rating: A

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© 2014 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of East City Records, and is used for informational purposes only.