|If this group’s name made you think of “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails, then you wouldn’t be too far off in imagining what they sound like. Head Like a Kite is an experimental group from Seattle who’ve been garnering a bunch of hype behind their LP, There is Loud Laughter Everywhere, and for good reason. This has got to be one of the more audacious releases of 2008, and it’s certainly one of the most listenable in the heap of pseudo-electronica that is modern indie music (all of the sudden).|
With only one man at the controls, Dave Einmo (who brings his buddy Trent Moorman along on tour for good measure), Nine Inch Nails comparisons are pretty logical. For one thing, these are a bunch of dark synth-riff driven head-nodders that should please most fans of that group; but the atmospheric layering of these tracks, all static-y outro and spacey background hiss, brings to mind more modern acts like Daedelous. But that’s only about 40-50% of the album...
Because variety is the name of the game, and truth be told that’s probably why I like this record so much. The sequential order puts the Add N to [X] groove of “Listen Young Stunners” right next “Big FM Radio Hit,” which rocks like some distant relative of Bloc Party (but less trendy and less British). Once you hear the trumpets at the end of that song, that’s when you start to realize this shit is all over the place – in all the right ways. So then, because of the eclectic nature and semi-flow-abandonment, the album has the potential to lose fans of some particular style (or at least the potential to show up more often in Mp3 form than actual album form), but if you’re anything like me and enjoy an album with a multi-faceted personality then you’ve got to listen to it in order from start to finish.
In general, the orchestration is pretty simple; there’ll be a steady drumbeat and then some catchy bassline or a synth-line or maybe some piano, nothing overloaded. Head Like a Kite is able to make really big music out of really small instrumentation and a really small lineup. The idea that a dude could just walk into a studio and walk out with this is just something amazing. “Before We Go to Bed” is so haunting, though, that it could totally be the sound of one lonely guy in one dark studio spilling his guts.
Now that Nine Inch Nails’ output is solidly hit-or-miss (basically miss whenever Trent Reznor sings), it’s time for awesome groups of this nature to emerge. If there truly is loud laughter everywhere, surely it’s directed at the competition (if there is any to be found). Totally ballsy release (“Big FM Radio Hit” must be a joke?); totally schizophrenic songwriting (the lyric “I stole your sister’s medication” speaks volumes); totally something worth coming back to.
Also, be sure to get the version of the album that comes with a bonus disc of remixes. None of them will change your life or anything but they’re definitely worth hearing. - Absolute Punk