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Friday, October 2, 2015

Kowloon Walled City streams Grievances title track

Today, Decibel Magazine is streaming the title track from Grievances, the new full-length from San Francisco's Kowloon Walled City. Grievances will be released worldwide October 9th, 2015 on Neurot Recordings, with vinyl on Gilead Media. Preorder bundles are available at this location.

Shifting even further from their sludgy post-hardcore roots towards a sparser, more melancholic heaviness, on the seven-track Grievances, strings rattle, guitars crackle and blister, notes ring out, at turns bleak and beautiful - sometimes both at once. Recorded and mixed by vocalist Scott Evans at Sharkbite Studios and his own Antisleep Audio, both in Oakland, the recording is honest and spacious, and intense without artifice or studio trickery.

In an advance review of the record the UK's The List elaborates, "Purely sonically, this is a stunning record - big, clean guitars, used as knives, not hammers, over a vicious bass bite and drums that hang and resound, full of anticipation, tension and release. And the vocals are one of Kowloon's main weapons - where others in this milieu go for the guttural growl or the manly roar, Scott Evans' anguished howl is purer, softer, full of sorrow and frustration dredged up from the belly ... Compositionally, it's incredibly smart but unflashy. At first, it appears simple and straightforward, but the arrangements are deceptively complex and willfully elusive, focusing on elision and clashing sour chords. A key strategy finds the band building from an austere beginning to a colossal, climactic riff that repeats and repeats."

Evans notes, "The song 'Grievances' started with the investment bankers who threw a cocktail party overlooking an Occupy protest, and ended up at a 1911 shirt factory fire where dozens of employees died because the owners had locked the exits and stairwells. The album cover is related in some ways-look up Lewis Hine's photography from the early 1900s."

Stream "Grievances," courtesy of Decibel Magazine, at this location.

You can also hear "Backlit," still streaming at NPR, at this location.

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