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Kowloon Walled City: Grievances

Kowloon Walled City is a San Francisco four piece having formed in 2007. They have three full lengths to their credit including their latest Grievances, although this was released a couple years back. The band is named after the Chinese city Kowloon which was a densely populated walled settlement in Hong Kong. The area was famous for its rampant crime and drug use. In 1993/94 the city was finally demolished. After reading a little about the city it should come as no surprise the band's music is very forlorn and stark. I wouldn't necessarily call this music depressing but it certainly isn't happy and the lyrics are quite dark and loaded with imagery:

"All your grand plans and gritted teeth. All your bent and burnt pride. They'll cut you down to count the rings. Measure out your worst years. We're bent into shape. We stay or we break."

When you combine the music and words this does make for some heavy stuff.

Leading this decent into madness are Scott Evans (guitar, vocals), Jeff Fagundes (drums), Jon Howell (guitar) and Ian Miller (bass).

Lone brooding guitar notes begin "Your Best Years" but it doesn't take long for the distorted slow burning riffs to unfold in the tradition of classic post metal. The vocals are more shouted than sung and it took me a while to get used to his style but they do mesh nicely with the general angst and forlornness of the music. They have a slightly muted feel so as not to feel to over the top. The music has enough quieter/ambient moments so as not to feel like you've been hit over the head one too many times. It comes across as surprisingly effective. The title track is another mood laden piece with equal moments of heavy dirge-like guitar and lighter more ambient soundscapes before ending with a heavy fury of chords. With "The Grift" the riffs are heavy right off the bat and pretty catchy as well. There is a brief moment of ambience before a slow plodding wall of noise and distortion takes the song home.

Kowloon Walled City do not make music for the faint of heart. That said, there is just enough empty space/ambient moments to alieve the heavy onslaught. Fans of melodic post metal will certainly have their interest piqued.

Track Listing:
1. Your Best Years
2. Grievances
3. Backlit
4. The Grift
5. White Walls
6. True Believer
7. Daughters And Sons

Added: March 12th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Bandcamp page
Hits: 1154
Language: english

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