Kylesa To Walk a Middle Course

Black Sabbath’s ghost (or well dressed touring corpse, depending on when you consider their career to have ended) has been returning to stalk metal with a vengeance. The number of stoner rock bands that have been appearing on independent labels out of relative obscurity is nearing a point of concern, prompting the question, is this the long arm of the Darkness and the Strokes rock revival? Fortunately, Kylesa are a thousand times heavier than anything being pumped on the radio, unless Kyuss is seeing more play these days. The riffs tend to be steady, sludgy, drawn out strumming, delving occasionally into quirky tags or more intricate patterns, maintaining the classic feel of Sabbath’s now tame beginnings. Though most of the lacklustre melodies are easily forgotten, they do experiment in bending the confines of their genre. Duelling male and female vocals give the songs a memorable quality that distinguishes it from the typical whiskey throat grunt-singing of the other stoners. They have prolonged, tension building moments that sound similar to Keelhaul, mid-tempo riffing reminiscent of Mastodon and more emotionally driven, rock-chord progressions that add dynamic to the mud. This record will appeal to fans of stoner rock but isn’t anything special. (Prosthetic)