KINSKI Cosy Moments CD/LP

My first bit of exposure to Kinski took place in Seattle around 2003, which is perhaps when they were best suited to be discovered. Already, ten years ago, they were established adults, circulating around something of a non-scene; it’s sort of unclear why they never developed the large cult following that other instrumental and post-rock bands have achieved, though perhaps it has something to do with the labels to which they’ve signed—would you attempt to market prog or psych rock to the Sub Pop or Kill Rock Stars audience? They have a crowd, somewhere, but they’re misfits in their Pacific Northwest setting.

As Cosy Moments arrives, then, it appears that they’ve realized just as much over the last few years; compare this new record to, say, 2005’s Alpine Static, and discover an evolution that has simplified them and thrown them back to the early ‘90s Seattle scene. They are no longer instrumental, nor terribly experimental. They’ve become a grunge/alternative band in the name of nostalgia, but not for their own earlier days. They’re now a slightly older band, and they appear comfortable, as they always have. This shows on stage just as much as it does in their titling (which has never been far off from Yo La Tengo’s equivalent, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass).

Their lyrics are somewhat vapid, but that was never the point of Kinski, anyway—they're musicians' musicians, an evolving guitar band, and verses like “Can I lay my head on your girlfriend/nothing'll happen/nothing'll come of it/I just feel out of it/and drunk/and I just need someone to lie on” are a mere speck on their album history. At this point they could fall onto a sixteen-year old playlist alongside the Dandy Warhols and Sonic Youth, which is really to say that Cosy Moments has been done, and done. And while it won't be their most important record, certainly not their most creative, it is thus far the most accessible and the one that may finally get them noticed. [Kill Rock Stars]

-China Bialos


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