This time around there doesn't seem to be the pressure to get it just right, a feeling that sometimes adversely affected their earlier songs.
I Am Kloot – Gods and Monsters
I hate writing about albums that are percieved as song based, or albums whose clear defining strengths are the songs themselves. Simply because it's too damned difficult to find anything really new to say, without resorting to rummaging around in the basket of old rock review cliches and then painfully welding them onto your review. Or talking artistically and intelligently at a tangent about mince, or rope or something. And, with records like I Am Kloot's new one, Gods and Monsters, there's only one real point of any note. It's excellent, brilliant in fact; a massive leap forward, one to get to know.
Compared with their previous releases, especially with the second album (I Am Kloot) there's a real warmth sonically; both in textures and arrangements that, in turn, allows the music to strike out much more boldly than before. This time around there doesn't seem to be the pressure to get it just right, a feeling that sometimes adversely affected their earlier songs. Rather, this languidity has allowed the tracks to display a toughness whilst keeping the acid nature of the message intact.
Aah, fuck it, I'm getting finicky. What I'm trying to say is that great story tellers (like Brel or Shack, or Tom Waits) need a good atmosphere to tell their tales. And that's precisely what the band have done on Gods and Monsters. Johnny Bramwell's vision has never just been a kitchen sink or a cine verite one and to class it as such would be unfair. No, there's much deeper currents to be navigated; with the title track suggesting, for example, darker themes culled from folklore or the Odyssey. Johnny Bramwell & the Kalevala in the same breath? Well, it's not too long a shot, honestly.
Fuck it again, I'm maybe getting preposterous. But as I said, it's very hard to write about albums like this. Especially when it is so good. Especially when it is such a surprise. What else can I say? And really, you'll only agree with me once you hear it for yourself. So go and get it.
Words: Richard Foster.