KEN MODE – SUCCESS (SEASON OF MIST)
Recorded with legendary engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey and so many more) to capture the material in a fully live and analog session in the band’s hometown in November 2014, brought to fruition is the most raw, rock and roll sound the band has ever put forth. Rock, noise, math, indie; KEN mode offer a root to it all on Success, locating a common ancestor that’s behind all that they do and have done as a band. It’s one seriously fermented sound that pervades these recordings, a goldrush of skewed rhythms, corrosive riffs and scorching pickup abuse, so diligently pulled off and inherently important to the band.
Their path first appears to be one of complex inspiration, but a lineage soon becomes clear, lighting up a way through concentric circles of legacy that encompasses Revelation Records, Dischord, Touch And Go, Sub Pop; the full spread of inventive heavinesses that fed in to the grunge estuary, and out in to the open sea of independent labels in the final decade of the last century, where KEN mode first appeared.
Success is a funny concept; in its rawest, most pure form, it is entirely relative, and this was the subject KEN mode chose to approach their new album with. Sonically, and lyrically, a shift has been made from the classic spitting of metallic hardcore tinged vitriol, that the band has become known for, to a rawer, more mature, even humorous indie rock aesthetic. In April 2014, the band set out to pay tribute to where they’ve come from: a salute to both their Canadian Prairie roots, and a time when they first started to care about making music; the burgeoning grunge; and Touch Go/Dischord scenes of the late 80s/early 90s, with bands like Nirvana, Big Black, Cop Shoot Cop, The Cows, Circus Lupus, and Drive Like Jehu warping their teenage minds. Lyrically, the band’s fascination with comedy spirals around classical western concepts of success; – from employment, sex, marriage, religion, socioeconomic standing, and particularly the many perceptions people have of how they, and those around them, happen to fit into the world.
Watch the video for “Blessed”, featuring musical appearances from guest vocalist Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), guest cello by Natanielle Felicitas, and guest noise by Dylan Walker (Full of Hell)
Listen to the hate-diffusing track “These Tight Jeans” – https://soundcloud.com/kenmode/these-tight-jeans