Release DetailsLABEL Scarlet
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
Frame The World... Hang It On The Wall
posted on 12/2006 By:
Kayser took many by surprise in 2005 with their debut album, Kaiserhof, including myself. With its chunky, immediately addictive sound it hardly came off like a first outing. Perhaps most surprising to listeners were the vocals, courtesy of Spice, who was then free to explore his singing ambitions after serving as bassist for Spiritual Beggars. They were soulful yet strong, and he often carried the best hooks on the album by himself, which hurt Kaiserhof at times because the vocals would drown rather than complement the music. This time around there’s a little more melody, more diverse song structures, and an even better vocal performance by Spice.
The nine-minute “Absence” represents Kayser’s new affinity for experimentation. With long, reflective passages in the middle carried by drums and a single but emotionally heavy riff that bursts into one hell of an impressively clean solo near the end, “Absence” is Kayser at its most interesting. I am the first to admit that this isn’t what I looked forward to hearing when I first listened to Frame the World…Hang on the Wall, but who am I to complain when they take their sound into such an arresting direction?
Thankfully, not all on Kayser’s second album is as experimental as “Absence.” Those who loved Kaiserhof for the more immediately gratifying tracks like “Good Citizen” and “Like a Drunk Christ” will find themselves equally at home in Frame the World’s environs. The hooks are just as deviously devised and the riffs have that same modern bitch slap of a tone. If you like Exodus’ current lineup for their crunchy guitar tone, and you dig Angel Blake’s melody then this is the band for you. It lacks the full-on assault of pure thrash (and the production is far too clean), but it’s also too aggressive for “heavy metal,” thus the modern thrash tag their sound often gets stamped. Eh, labels shouldn’t matter. Good music is worth listening to, regardless of the words that get thrown around on its behalf. Songs like “Turn to Grey” and “A Note From Your Wicked Son” honestly boast some of the best hooks heard yet in a dwindling ’06.
Bottom Line: If you liked Kaiserhof, buy this. There’s more melody, crack-addled choruses, and insane riffs than your ears can handle. If the thought of clean production and the guitar crunch of modern thrash makes you sick, steer clear, but understand that you’re missing out on a great vocal performance by Spice. After listening to Frame the World, Kaiserhof will sound like a teaser.
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