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Scout Beck


Scout Beck, Editor

It isn't often that age merits any kind of mention in a band's review, but it's worth pointing out just how young Nottingham trio Kagoule are in order to fully appreciate just what it is they have produced.

They were fifteen when the creation of their debut album began in 2011. Released on Friday August 21, 'Urth' is a woozy psychedelic stagger of epic proportions, the likes of which you will not have heard before.

But you'll have heard bits like it. It's dripping with influences from bands that the three-piece are too young to know. Unless - which appears to be the case - they've absorbed the depth and grunge of 90s American rockers by osmosis.

'Urth' is a huge psyched and psychotic sonic journey. Fuzzed and muzzy from the outset, it's a trip, a trip that threatens to go wrong at times as it plunges into obscure and distorted lands. It's a ragged angular and warped experience and is utterly absorbing.

From the exquisite angles and rush of 'Gush' to the hurdy gurdy of 'Adjust the Way' with the haunting vocals of frontman Cai Burns and bassist Lucy Hatter you're hooked, tumbling sharply backwards to wander, eyes-wide, through their Looking Glass world.

Then there's the glorious chaos of 'Glue'. A story of a man losing his mind, it's hard to keep your own. Darkly grooving through a world where all the rules have changed, when Burns sings, 'What a mess' it's hard to breathe.

'Damp Sand' and 'Empty Mug' wallow firmly in the depths of delightful grunge, winding vocals cascade over bass heavy backing, the latter spinning into a squall of abandon.

The band display their mastery at toying with rhythm and tension on 'Greenbeefo' and 'Centralwing', and then there's 'Made of Concrete.'

Lucy Hatter takes charge of the vocals here; the result is a masterpiece of layering and relative delicacy, it's vast and epic, a darkly beautiful soundscape.

'Open Mouth' is so blackened it's gothic. Shadowy and weighty it's a dense lullaby, that touch of lightness provided again by Hatter.

Penultimate track 'Mike' combines a hypnotic looping guitar and the menacing vocal of Burns before the album closes on the high that is 'It Knows It'.

Rhythmic and relentless it's a great closer to an astonishing album.

"As an album Urth is a collection of teenage experiences," said the frontman.

I can't imagine what those experiences were but their retelling of them on 'Urth' is stunning. It's a supremely mature album, skilled and genuinely, genuinely exciting.

Kagoule on tour

Aug. 21 - London, UK - Rough Trade East instore
Sept. 17 - Vienna, Austria - Arena 3 Raum Bar w/ Ball Park Music
Sept. 18 - Berlin, Germany - Magnet
Sept.22 - Hannover, Germany - Lux
Sept. 25 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Zakk w/ METZ
Sept. 26 - Hambury, Germany - Reeperbahn Festival
Sept. 27 - Leipzeig, Germany - Ilses Erika w/ Ball Park Music
Sept. 28 - Prague, Czech Republic - Basement Bar
Sept. 30 - Cologne, Germany - Blue Shell w/ Ball Park Music
Oct. 01 - Brussels, Belgium - Witloof Bar @ Botanique
Oct. 03 - Portsmouth, UK - Dials Festival w/ Black Honey + Hooton Tennis Club
Oct. 09 - Nottingham, UK - Rock City w/ Sleaford Mods
Oct. 10 - Leeds, UK - Beacons Metro w/ Traams, Pins, Crushed Beaks
Oct. 18 - Manchester, UK - Carefully Planned Festival
Oct. 23 - All Years Leaving Festival w/ The Wytches, Speedy Ortiz, Chastity Belt