Kinski

Some bands just need to be experienced live, and Kinski is almost universally cited as one of those acts. On disc, the Seattle-based group sometimes struggles when shifting between snoring and soaring. It starts with simple melodies, smothers them with blips, bleeps and dizzying distortion, heats the mix to a noisy boil, then lets it simmer and cool before restarting the process (elapsed time: eight minutes or more). This year’s Airs Above Your Station plays like a soundtrack to a movie about getting hopelessly lost; at the end, a listener might ask himself, “Did I waste my time, or did I just find out that sometimes, destinations are superfluous?” In a concert setting, the answer becomes clear: It can be exciting to surrender your sense of direction, provided that you have a suitably mesmerizing tour guide.

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