May 27, 2010
I have to admit,this review may be a bit biased,seeing as Kayo Dot have been an big obsession of mine since their birth as a band.I really love them to death,and this record is totally mind blowing and all,but instead of the rant/rave torture...I will just give you the facts.DEAL?
Coyote is the fourth looong player from songwriter/composer/overflow of talent - Toby Driver and his main vehicle,KAYO DOT.He somehow found time in between writing an equally amazing new Maudlin of the Well reunion record(woah!)to write this entire beast of an album.Always evolving musically(as well as aesthetically),Driver has once again brought together a fantastic group of players to accompany him on his quest for a new genrea.And they sure have found it with this one.Guests spots include former member Terran Olson,trumpet man-Tim Byrnes of counterpoint-jazz troupe Friendly Bears and avant-composition act Hazel Rah.Although Driver is the main brain behind all of this,these songs show an obvious chemistry between these folks.On stage they possess an energy and unspoken confidence that most bands can only wish to adopt.It is as overtly exhilarating as it is inspiring.A perfect blend of that old "what's going to happen next? " and "Oh,I remember this..".Comfy terror?Sure.
The songs on Coyote take some semi-obvious cues from the Blue Lambency Downward era,heavy on that loose and rhythmic,blackened free-jazz-flutter they do so very well.Kind of like Ornette Coleman jamming with Dirty Three covering Return to Forever jams,in a decade yet to happen.Blue..had an unmistakable drum tone(Charlie from Behold the Arctopus) that carried the whole thing along so perfectly.This recording may have a different drummer,but he pushes the music in all direction with totally unique chops and unbearable precision,without being flashy or overbearing.Toby Driver's got this unintentionally patented guitar tone that washes over his Scott Walker-like croons and wails with such ease.Odd chords whirl around him,with a heavy reverb and delay treatment,bouncing off each other to no end.It's so far beyond cohesive that it could only work for them alone.These songs are much more than just abrasive music and clever words,they are chock-full of beautiful brass and string arrangements,orchestrated guitar compositions,and gloomy-yet-dreamy baroque jazz ballads.There are some not-so-obvious goth references being knocked around here at times,and it's just another element to add to their already massive sound collage.This is a perfect album right down to the song order.Easily their most prolific work to date,and that says ALOT for this band.
I could go on about this for an eternity,so if you dig Maudlin of the Well, City of Caterpillar, Red Sparrowes, Dysrhythmia and the epic prog-bliss dudes alike,then you are just starting to get the idea."Far beyond expectations" is their thing,and they have absolutely done it again with Coyote.Another brutal epic under their belt,and already my vote for record of the year.They are recording a new EP as I type this.Out this summer on Hydrahead.