Personally, I’ve always found it to be comforting, almost, when you hear a record by a band for the first time and immediately feel settled. What I mean by that exactly is that there’s no sound of uneasiness or uncertainty there, that there’s a confidence in the sound as though they were playing for you in person. Gladly I can report that this was the case when I started listening to the debut release from Cardiff trio KUTOSIS, an album that promises much.
Their style is something of a glossed garage rock, making heavy use of guitars amped with a bit of reverb, but it’s accessible. Opening track This Avalanche Is immediately caught my attention and has probably cemented itself as one of the better starts to an album quite honestly because it sounds so accomplished. Sounding similar to the likes of The National but with more energy, it’s a track that will make you take notice of this group.
Relatively unknown still, this group of guys have released their debut with Barely Regal Records, also Cardiff-based, an independent record label that places great stock in the tradition of the physical format of music, and the same level of care applied to craft is evident in the band’s album.
The second track, Crystal Beach, is a dreamy surf-pop number which fits in with the carefree attitude that embodies this genre, but unlike many songs in said style it doesn’t lose itself in the nonchalance. Granted, if jangling guitars and unanimated vocals aren’t your thing then this group will do nothing for you, but even if you sit on the fence with regards to this variety of rock music I would suggest you give this group a go; within their songs is a sound that could quite easily cross over and appeal to a more mainstream crowd without compromising the quality.
While it seems like the surf pop-rock is this group’s winning sound, it makes for good listening with tracks such as Horizons for those who have a flavour for the weirder stylings of garage music – distorted, off-kilter guitars mess around before plunging into a thunderous rhythm that gives this group a grittier side. Those who aren’t so keen, again I would urge you not to be put off – there is still a semblance of the sound you would already have experienced in your listening this far.
It could be that there’s a small amount of geographical bias going on here, but overall I have been overwhelmingly impressed with this group – the one track that I would have named as being the lull in the album, Night Surf, turned that on its head before I had even finished writing about it. Without a doubt I feel that KUTOSIS are a band that will be popping up on more and more people’s radars as time goes on, and it wouldn’t be undeserved given the quality of their music.
For those looking to see this group live, they will playing part of the multi-venued St David’s Day Festival hosted by Fizzi Events in Cardiff which will be, naturally, on the 1st of March – anyone in the area who intends on going, mark these as must-see.