Kiss 1O8 HYPERFANTASY XL

Kiss 1O8 HYPERFANTASY XL
7
Worcester, Massachusetts-based musician Dom (real name Dominic Cournoyer) learned that Internet buzz only goes so far after his band of the same name dropped two sensational EPs in 2010 and 2011. Though primed for success, label struggles and bad personal experiences forced the musician to put his self-titled band on ice. Just as fans were beginning to wonder where he was, Cournoyer has returned under the moniker Kiss 1O8 (one-oh-eight) and ditched the glammy power pop sound of his previous project.

Described as "Streets of Rage versus S Club 7, on some maximalist level," HYPERFANTASY XL is an instrumental electronic album that finds him thinking far outside the box. Without losing his immediate ear for writing pop hooks, Cournoyer sprinkles bits of melody all over the distorted cascades of synth and programmed rhythms. Initially, it sounds quite alien — the shredding guitars and 8-bit oscillations of "Rip Don Rose," the crashing S Club 7 samples of the title track, and the Italo-house lean of "Forgiveness" — but slowly, with each listen, Kiss 1O8 begins to resemble an over-stimulated, rippled version of Dom's output.

Nothing on HYPERFANTASY XL sounds quite as tremendous as Dom's "Living in America" or "Damn," but it proves he's still determined to blow minds with his genuinely awesome and unique music. (Independent)