(The Reign of) Kindo – Happy However After
Jazz | Indie Rock
Often I find it hard not to cling to the old ways and see albums set out as “Side A” and “Side B”. Many albums are understandably top-heavy, containing all the hits and highlights in the first half to lure in listeners before slowly fading into filler. The opposite is true of the new album from Kindo. The first half of Happy However After is messy and lacks direction. The band just throw everything they’ve got at you without any sense of purpose, like trying to win a debate by taking all the carefully reasoned arguments and playing them all at once over a loudspeaker. Tracks like ‘Human Convention’ and ‘Let Me Be’ are like listening to Rio’s Carnival in one ear and a Vegas lounge act in the other, while songs like ‘Catch The Gleam’ go too far in the other direction and feel boring and lifeless, like the other songs have stolen away their instrumental prowess like some musical vampire.
It’s on the B side that the true magic of Kindo begins to take shape. Mostly you’re dazzled by how slick and effortlessly cool the band are, but there’s no escaping the astonishing technical talent at work. ‘Return To Me’ builds from chilled out piano and intricate drums into blaring riffs and tripped out funk undertones, while epic closer ‘City of Gods’ takes all the convoluted mass from earlier tracks and lays it out straight. With clear purpose and meaning, this one multifaceted marvel recalls everyone from Rush and Tool, to Bruno Mars and Sly Stone. It’s the 24 karat stunner ‘Colder Than December’ however that stands out as both the album’s highlight and it’s most accessible hit, encapsulating everything that makes Kindo so unique and likeable. Happy However After may take a while to get into the swing of things, but there are a few gems here that are worth waiting for and make the record fully deserving of a listen.