Shining - In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster
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In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster

Leave it to the Rune Grammofon label to release such an inspired piece of musical madness that mixes up prog, rock, jazz, ambient electronics, and just about everything else. Featuring two former members of the sprawling Jaga Jazzist, Shining is a young quartet of musicians who seem very unafraid of mashing genres together in an effort to create something wholly unique. Imagine if Jaga Jazzist let their hair down a bit more and simply freaked-out once in awhile (in several different ways), and you're getting somewhere close to the sort of thing that Shining does.

The opening track of "Goretex Weather Report" sets the bar pretty darn high as strummed, loose-string guitars and horns line up in a building riff before the track unleashes with a blast of heavy prog metal before the track collapses into an organ-grinding soundtrack motif that further evolves into one last blast of shredding guitars pyrotechnics. "REDRUM" follows it up with a short blast of live and programmed drums mingling with stuttering waves of horns, shouts and hollers, and an absolutely romping midsection that doesn't last long enough. The whole thing is over in under 2 minutes and the group is of course quickly on to other things.

In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster is literally all over the place, yet it somehow ties itself together with horns. On the quiet, soundtrack-esque "Where Death Comes To Cry," soft moans of horns play out alongside some more wheezy organ for a brief respite in the middle of the album where tracks seem to burst at the seams with ideas. "The Smoking Dog" blends touches of Ennio Morricone soundtracks into a glitchy, carnival-ride of a track that is alternately blasting forth with hyperspeed programmed drums and dropping off into weird melodies (played on a variety of instruments and synths) that could easily accompany stalker-scenes in a horror movie.

If my descriptions above make the album seem a bit hodge-podge, be assured that it most definitely is. At the same time, though, this is one of those releases that you'll want to sit down with and listen to many, many times in order to hear all the different parts so you can air-drum, air-guitar, and air-whatever to them later. In the course of ten tracks and just about forty minutes, four people cram scores of catchy riffs, some seriously thunderous moments, as well as some nice ambience into a short, but definitely not lacking release. In interviews I've read with bands over the years, one thing that seems to come out once in awhile is that all the different bandmembers like different music and the resulting band music is the pulling of all those parts into an overall sound. If that's the case with Shining, I'm glad that they somehow found a way to get everything jammed in here without everything completely falling off the rails. Occasionally mindblowing, and very entertaining.

rating: 7.7510
Aaron Coleman 2005-03-03 00:00:00