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Absolute Dissent (CD)
To be fair, the band already had a very solid platform to build Absolute Dissent, their 13th album, on. The KJ renaissance began in earnest with their second self-titled album of 2003 (featuring Dave Grohl on drums), and this continues the trend. The trademarks of their sound, the striking vocals of Jaz Coleman and the simultaneously serrated and danceable guitar riffs of Geordie are here, but these are supplemented by the dubbed-out, aqueous bass wobble of Youth and the metronomic drumming of Paul Ferguson. All of which have gelled excitingly and convincingly on some of the most anthemic tracks that they have written, In Excelsis a particular standout.
Coleman especially has never sounded in better form. His voice is an organic monument of terror on the strident Depth Charge, yet sedate and touching on an elegiac The Raven King. Youth, an avowed studio experimenter, has introduced the band to Auto-Tune, which is befitting given their earlier experiments with disco, house and techno. They easily manage to step out from the long shadow cast by their own first two albums on this close-to-genius release. And even though there is a hint of the 1980s (Here Comes the Singularity) here and a touch of Pssyche (Fresh Fever from the Skies) there, this is KJ at their distressingly original best.
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