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Album Reviews : Kylesa – Exhausting Fire

By on October 25, 2015

kylesa-exhausting-fireBack with their 7th full length release, 3 piece (plus live stage performers) Kylesa again bring boundaries a little closer while pushing norms further back with their new album Exhausting fire. Haunting at times but equally comforting at others, the album uses the knack Kylesa have for venturing into slightly unexplored soundscapes without tarnishing or losing any of the Kylesa flavour that fans have grown to appreciate.

Comparing previous albums to any new release by the band is a bit like comparing fender guitars to Gibsons, they’re both amazing in their own way and it really comes down to personal preference. Add the fact that the “Kylesa sound” is a very catchy distinctive sound that’s hard to describe, and breaking it down doesn’t really get you any closer to an answer.

Elements of sludge, alternative, some indie, some hard rock all come together to make a jambalaya of genres that Kylesa manage to combine and evoke on the album, by rolling from relaxing tuneful floating melodies to a rambunctious mix of energy and noise while never being too offensive to the ears.  If the Kylesa sound you’re after is more in tune to the styling’s of their raw self-titled debut this deviates a little from the eclectic soup and is more in line with a single drummer version of Static Tensions with a taste of natural band evolution.

Strong wispy vocals dominate the first track “Crusher”, full of groove, mystery and melodic vocals woven into attention grabbing guitar lines which serve as a backbone throughout the entire album. Laura Pleasant’s hauntingly beautiful vocals come to the fore through most of the album and dovetail the elephantine guitar work and rolling drums into an extremely cohesive mix of power and elegance. Already released single “Lost and Confused” typifies all of this and more, and has a verse hook that could catch Moby Dick. Seriously give it a listen and try and not have the vocal verse rattling around your brain for the next hour or two. And that’s before you even get to the chunk heavy chorus. Supplement this with other worthy mentions such as the pink Floyd-esque “Falling” as well as “Inward Debate” and “Shaping the Southern Sky”, The latter both with ample smatterings of huge head nodding guitar and rhythms, and the album starts to stack up well.

Production quality on the album is standard fare, nothing over the top special but all the tricks to make it sound crisp, clear and powerful are there. Every song has full dynamic mixes with no single instrument/singer overpowering anything else and it just works really well together as a complete album.


Dave is a multi-instrumentalist by day and writes about all things interesting by night. Born in Melbourne and raised by the Melbourne local music scene, he is a classic rock and metal fiend doubled with more than a passing obsession with music from the 80’s and 90’s. You can follow him on Twitter shoot him a message if you’re a drummer!