Released by Thalassa (HQ = Neptune Records, Royal Oak), Ampday starts proud with “Supersonic Kid,” a tune which matches a brightly damaged guitar riff with a steady Bonhamlike drum rhythm and a gentle penchant for mysterious drones and loops. The song sets up the rest of the tracks on the record, dropping its melody early while concurrently establishing a relaxed but consistent percussion pattern, while other sonic noodlings fill up the newly created atmosphere. Titles such as “Tinsunshine” and “Untitled Bright Format” also work nicely at conveying Kiln’s attention to structure and sound, as well as the band’s sympathies to both nature and industry. In the liner notes, Kiln describes its work as “signals painstakingly propelled through a series of cheap boxes and wires.” What a refreshing ethos. Instead of playing cheap riffs through a ton of good (or at least normal) equipment (i.e. grunge), Kiln plays well-crafted pop instrumental musings through old burnt-out machines. And though it may be of concern for some that the band’s musical allegiance might lie closer to, let’s say, Daniel Lanois or Ry Cooder than Tortoise or early Can, one can rest assured that Kiln’s deft boundary-walking between electronic production and acoustic rendering won’t grow old anytime soon.
Carleton S. Gholz writes about music for the Metro Times. E-Mail [email protected].