Cyclical (EP) / Most Definitely (EP)

Kins

East City Records Limited, 2016

http://www.hellokins.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/22/2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Cyclical EP came out in 2015; the cover art attached to this review is for the Most Definitely EP.

With their dark and intense music and a singer whose heartwrenching singing could easily bring one to tears, avant-garde indie pop outfit Kins was a unique breed of band, and their 2014 self-titled debut was no short of a masterpiece. Despite plans for a sophomore album, the group unfortunately disbanded, but not without leaving us with two EPs that were subsequently released after their debut: Cyclical and Most Definitely, the band’s official “farewell” EP.

Neither EP is as strong as the debut album. The title track from Cyclical and “Charlie” (from Most Definitely), for instance, lack the grit of the debut album. The songs on the debut album that transformed into long musical jams –“Absblurd” and “Aimless” – never once seemed meandering. However, the same cannot be said of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Cyclical’s “Little Dancer,” which starts off brilliantly but strays along the way, turning into a needlessly fraught cacophony of instruments jamming. It feels as if the band is trying too hard to create melodrama.

Compared to the guitar-dominated debut record, the adoption of a more electronic-heavy sound on both the EPs shows that Kins was trying out new things with their music for the next release. In comparison to the big drums on their debut, the minimalistic electronic beats on “Young” (from Cyclical) pair fantastically with its biting guitars. The brooding and pulsating synths on “J. Tio,” along with its deliberate beats, result in a gentle and meditative track that is as potent as the band’s fiery guitar rock numbers.

Although catchiness was never a selling point of Kins’ music, it is good to see the band creating songs like the title track and “Stop, Repeat, Stop” from Most Definitely that are instantly catchy, more so than any other Kins song. The combination of danceable hip-hop beats on “Stop, Repeat, Stop” with singer Thomas Savage’s rhythmic repetition of the words “stop, repeat, stop” is like Kins attempting to make music for less sophisticated ears, but making a brilliant song out of it in the process. “Most Definitely” is edgier, with the usual Kins-like style of pounding drumming and gloomy industrial synths. The song’s attacking music, along with the almost mindless repetition of the chorus that involves the word “fuck,” makes this creepy number about loneliness instantly addictive.

Cyclical and Most Definitely might be weaker than Kins’ debut album. But both these EPs still showcase the inimitable and amazing band that Kins was. In a farewell note on their Facebook page, Kins states that they hoped that they might have helped inspire some of their fans to take up an instrument or start a band with friends. These are pretty lofty words for a band that has only one proper album under its belt, but Kins is just the kind of special band that can inspire such a thing.

Rating: B+

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© 2017 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 Limited, and is used for informational purposes only.