7 (or 8) [LP; Kill Rock Stars]

The (virtual) reams spent on the “Seattle sound” are astonishing. It should all just boil down to the collective catalog of Kinski, a band itself founded on an argument to prove out an idea. The band has somehow found its way onto Pacific Northwest labels still fostering the variants of whatever passes for the Seattle sound. It’s as if the band will never shake Seattle nor will Seattle ever shake them. 7 (or 8) is another in a long line of loud, rough and tumble rock that isn’t quite indie, never alternative, and grungy only to those still stuck in fashionable flannel. So why stick Kinski with a label that is heavily disputed in a tired and aging fight? Because they still carry the banner without waving it like a homer. They are fans of the home team but they understand its faults and choose wisely to avoid them. 7 (or 8) is typical Seattle from a time that no longer exists (to most people, Seattle is now Fleet Foxes, The Hand and the Heart, Macklemore and fossils from grunge…), but Kinski never dwell on that past. Whatever came out of alternative (post-alternative?) became failed stadium rock. And though “I Fell Like a Fucking Flower,” has a riff straight out of “Vasoline,” its ties to those ancient days of rock and roll ruling the airwaves is thin. Kinski is always a favored band within Seattle because they exemplify the hard work and continuous evolution of a tough nosed, blue collar city that has been eclipsed by capitalists and capitalizers. But they represent the soul — the underground of Seattle. And by Underground, I mean the one with speakeasys, prostitution, and pirateering that hides beneath the cobbled streets of Pioneer Square. It’s a buried past that you can pay to experience, but you’re just visiting. But Kinski live there, toiling away to do what they must to prove out their theories on what still passes as rock. So not only do Kinski stand for the mythical Seattle sound that was but a slogan with little substance for two decades, they stand as one of the last visages of rock and roll as a viable, ever-changing medium. It may not have a place at the table now but it will again, and Kinski will be the cockroach deep inside the caverns that has survived it all, after we’ve talked so much about nothing that all the oxygen has been wasted.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

Most Read