Kylesa: Static Tensions

I’ve never thought of flossing as a psychedelic experience, but then again, on the face of it, sludge-meets-hardcore punk never struck me as trippy either. Artist-of-the-moment John Baizley’s unusual subject matter for the cover art of Static Tensions is strangely apropos to Kylesa’s latest head-nodding exercise tape.

It’s infectious stuff, and the relative simplicity of Kylesa’s approach to the “post-“ dominated metal scene is refreshing when everyone somehow became a prog band. Instead, meaty, straightforward riffs with artful drumming and a healthy measure of eye-opening, spacey (but never overcomplicated) phrases that offer a brief respite from the pummeling Static Tensions serves up with the trained regularity of a coffee-slinging diner waitress.

Kylesa, being as fast as sludge gets (sans Crowbar’s thrashy sections and the odd Eyehategod cut), open that way, with the first five cuts being among the best in their catalog, though any reviewer of their latest would be loathe to ignore the oh-too-short-but-majestic closer “To Walk Alone.” Of course, I just named over half the album, which should be enough to encourage any metal fan worth his salt to open their wallet. But in case that’s not good enough, a casual listen the agonizing breakdown of “Only One” will convince them to buy two.

In A Word: Snapped