Kashmir

E.A.R

Written by: HES on 23/03/2013 16:28:48

So it’s not exactly the first time Danish rock group Kashmir reinvent themselves. On "Travelogue" they were angry hard rockers, on "Zitilites" they became pop-oriented and warm, on "Trespassers" they tried to include more electronic elements and now we’re here; their seventh studio album. Did they manage to reinvent themselves once again with this one, this time opting to produce the album on their own.

So, no doubt they’re going for a more ambient sound on this one. The opening track, “Blood Beach” is a wonderful ambient piece obviously meant to cleanse the “ear” of the listener and setting up a way more quiet and thoughtful Kashmir. So the scene is kind of set as we move further into the record. The quiet “Piece of the Sun” is very far from the songs on "Travelogue". If this has to do with growing up or just reinvention is a good question. But it seems that Kashmir has found the quietness a great inspiration for this album. The track “Pedestals” is an exercise in restraint and minimalism with a kind of “meh” outcome.

I like the fact that Kashmir is once again trying something new, but they should maybe watch out that they don't try their fans' patience. The album has some great elements of harps, choirs and strings, but there are also these elements of ambiance and weirdness that sometimes overstay their welcome. What has always been Kashmirs success is their ability to stay on the edge of mainstream rock and sometimes beyond it, yet still being “ordinary” enough to create solid rock gold. The single “Seraphina” is a spot on example of this. Light and easy, a bit of melancholy and a touch of the special pop-powder Kasper Eistrup must have hidden in a drawer somewhere. Whenever a band tries to go a bit more avant-garde you start wondering if it’s really for themselves or in defense towards their peers. Instead I think more bands should embrace that pop-oriented rock is not a bad thing to be making. It’s what makes rock anthems.

Where "E.A.R." really owns the stereo is on songs like “Trench”, an acoustic masterpiece, the fast paced and energy-filled “Purple Heart” and the art-rock magic of “This Love This Love”. The rest of the album is more of a goalless meditation with way too little direction or purpose to the band's loyal sing-a-long audience. I don’t question the craftsmanship of this album – rather the purpose of it. It seems like a personal soul-searching project rather than something targeted towards an audience. It’s hard to say if it’s a let-down or not because it is definitely interesting – but is it good? Luckily the album opens up quite a bit the more you listen to it, but that is very much to ask of a busy post-modern human being. Maybe that’s the true statement of this album?

6

Download: "Seraphina", "Purple Heart" and "This Love This Love"
For The Fans Of: Choir of Young Believers, Treefight for Sunlight, Darkness Falls
Listen: facebook.com/kashmiofficial

Release Date 18.03.2013
Sony

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