Kinski Don’t Climb on and Take the Holy Water

[Strange Attractors; 2004]

Styles: new weird america, free-drone, hard rock
Others: Charalambides, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Black Sabbath

Who knew you could free any type of music? Aside from Modern Composition, Jazz was the first genre to be "freed" in the '60s when musicians like Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry began improvising their songs rather than opting for traditional structures. Over the last ten years, other kind musicians around the world have slowly (but surely) freed folk music, electronics, and everything else in between. Devoid of rhythm and a sense of aimlessness, Seattle drone rockers known as Kinski dig deep and free drone music; what a nice group of people.

After playing secretly in their hometown for the last couple years under the name Herzog, Kinski must have felt it was time to release their latest experiment, Don't Climb on and Take the Holy Water; a collection of five tracks that take the band's trademark sonic guitars and slow things down - a lot.

This collection of songs is meant to invoke a sense of space, which is part of Kinski's arsenal of strengths. Only, instead of power guitars, the tracks meander and drone throughout, which opens up new routes the band never hinted at previously. The album's undoubted centerpiece is the near thirty-minute "The Misprint in the Gutenberg Print Shop." It is a psychedelic and spacey piece if there ever was such a thing, and the song is a workout in drone with minimal guitar effects playing alongside waves of sound. It eventually puts the listener in a trance-like state, ending with claps and hollers.

Kinski is obviously proud of the final result. While Don't Climb on and Take the Holy Water is a nice change of pace and a pleasant excursion in the free-drone for an underrated guitar band, it lacks any real defining moments that would make it a more noteworthy and essential album. But, at the very least, it's worth checking out.

1. Never Compete with Small Girls
2. The Misprint in the Gutenberg Print Shop
3. Crepes the Cheap
4. Bulky Knit Cheerleader Sweater
5. There's Nothing Sexy about Time