Aug. 30, 2018


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The Pitch: Winnepeg hardcore/noise crew KEN Mode put their unrestrained id to audio with a raucious new album via Season Of Mist. FFO: Daughters, War Brides, early Nirvana

What I Like: Well Frontierer came through just a month ago determined to make us feel Unloved with their album of the same name, so now KEN Mode must be here to balance things out with Loved, right? No. Not even a little bit. This latest release is as bitter and disdainful as they come. It's noisey, abrasive, and above all wants you to hurt. Take "The Illusion Of Dignity," just for example. This track is like Bleach-era Nirvana strung-out and desperately searching for the next fix. The repetetive-yet-irresistable bass groove oozes repressed sexual urges, colliding head on with violent, depraved shrieks and dissonant guitars. This culminates in a strange and confusing orgasm of sorts; characterized by chaotic saxophone before trailing off into feedback and distortion. It's an uncomfortable experience, and perhaps that word is best used to describe the entire record. Sex Crimes: The Album, if you will. Perhaps this was not at all the intention of the artists and I'm simply airing some very Freudian dirty laundry, but as it stands, I can't think of a better way to describe my listening experience.

Critiques: It's a little inconsistent. While I appreciate the lengthier closer's experimental side, it serves as an example of where things can become repetitious. I could use more of the driving drums of "Fractures In Adults" than the droning chords of "Learning To B Too Cold."

The Verdict: KEN Mode sound pissed. Loved is a refreshing album that continues to broaden the horizons of what it means to be hardcore. I adore the sparing and effective use of sax, and the overall songwriting is highly intriguing. Throw in some fittingly lecherous album art, and there is little reason not to pick this album up. Get it today.

Flight's Fav's: Feathers & Lips, Very Small Men, The Illusion Of Dignity

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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