KINSKI Just standing around, waiting to explode.

Fri Feb 21


Since Kinski's 1999 avant-rock release Space Launch for Frenchie, they've been compared to every not-so-out-of-bounds experimental guitaring outfit imaginable. While their flowing, multidimensional love of all things meandering and exploding does harken back to Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, Kinski's mood isn't nearly as sassy or rough. Like SY, however, bassist Lucy Atkinson delivers vocal lines like they're sly afterthoughts on this January's release, Airs Above Your Station (on Portland's Strange Attractors Audio House); she's too chilly, sexy-ice-queen, to let you know she feels. That cool-cucumber, stoner attitude permeates even the band's edgiest electronic touches and spaceship effects, making for a subtly unsettling mood of matured calm. Such passive-aggressiveness works gorgeously on their new Sub Pop release, Penthouse Suite, and only fails on rare occasion when songs' energies are focused too far inward and inertia lags. As complex and meandering as Kinski gets, don't start thinkin' of them as a jam band. To the contrary, explains Martin. "Almost all of it was preplanned. We knew just where we were going with it. We did a bunch of touring that totaled two-and-a-half months, and had been playing several of those songs out for six months prior. We chop, paste, jam, and form things together. It's very intentional."

The members of Kinski save the unintentional for their new side project, Herzog. "It's total improv--my buddy told me the other day not to tell anyone that it's improv, because then people won't think we know what we're doing," Martin chuckles. "I think we're still figuring out exactly how to do it. These three guitar players have been with each other for four years now, and the end result is that we can play off each other really well." It takes great communication skills and an impeccable sense of your bandmates' styles to be able to pull such a thing off, but Kinski can totally do it.