1) Beaten Heart
2) Grumpy Angel
4) Where Is The Summer
5) See You In The Morning
6) Don’t Care
7) Be With You
9) I See You
10) The Square
11) What’s In A Dream
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Listening to ‘Never Near’ is what one might imagine journeying into a vortex is like. The kind we have in our heads, that is. I’m presuming a journey into a real vortex would be terrifying and unpleasant, and probably over quite quickly because you would be dead before you’d travelled too far inside because of lack of oxygen or something.
We’ll say a journey into a metaphorical vortex then (preferably one through which you survive the journey, but I’ll leave that up to you) for forty eight minutes and twenty five seconds (that’s the exact length of ‘Never Near’ just in case you were wondering).
To begin with it’s a little strange and unfamiliar. There might be lots of flashing lights, parts of the ‘real’ world that you can see or hear or remember. But gradually as you journey further in, everything becomes darker, more sombre, less urgent. You can float through as you wish and enjoy the ride as everything swirls around you, losing yourself in whatever it is you find.
Okay, so maybe I’ve been a bit over-dramatic with the description, but comparisons can certainly be drawn between that which I have just described, and ‘Never Near’ as a whole.
The album’s artwork reflects the vortex idea too, and certainly lets potential listeners know what they’re in for; from the dizzy throb of opener ‘Beaten Heart’, held in place by the ‘twirling all around me’ refrain, to the lilting finality of ‘What’s In A Dream’, it is quite easy to be sucked into the spiral. It is not quite as easy to leave, however, particularly on hearing tracks like ‘Results’, with its funky guitar touches, and ‘Brittle’, which begins as the what the soundtrack to the discovery of an abandoned, oriental space station might sound like, and builds into a grandiose warning cry.
So who are the musicians behind Kinesis? That would be Mark Booth and Malcolm Forward, who are obviously talented songwriters and players. They certainly wear their influences on their sleeves too; lyrically there’s a Joy Division-esque sombreness throughout (particularly as we progress further into the album), although it is OMD, mid-‘80s Depeche Mode and The Cure that the instrumentation leans towards.
And it is that contrast- of the all-or-nothing lyrical statements and the striking melodies that make this album interesting to listen to.
In terms of future releases (and let’s hope there are some planned), it would be nice to hear them take what they’ve begun on ‘Never Near’ and refine it a little- perhaps by venturing deeper into other genres that have been touched on- so we can really see what else is in the Kinesis cannon.
But that aside, this album has some delightful moments, and it certainly reflects the enormous amount of potential that the duo have. Their intriguing combination of ‘no-frills’ lyrical themes and bold musical arrangements could, with time, quite easily be developed into the ultimate hybrid of all the electronic bands they have clearly been influenced by, but more importantly, also gives Kinesis a unique sound of their own
Well worth a listen.
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