I've taken a keen interest in Kyte for a few years now, maintaining that they were one of the few bands to emerge from the Nugaze movement with any real talent. Dead Waves, their first full length record, is the latest in consistently above par output. Their sound has pretty much filled out as far as it can, with walls of sound a plenty, but we see an interesting departure of sorts in the album: Dead Waves is, more than anything they've done to date, a pop record.
The band have always had a keen sense for a simple melody, but we really see this penetrate the effect laden music more than before. The first half of the album leans towards good old fashioned verse/chorus song structures. Opening track 'This Smoke Saves Lives', 'IHNFSA' and personal favourite 'Fear From Death' all have big choruses, something fairly untried by the band in the past. Rather than My Bloody Valentine, they come across more like New Order or at times even Delphic, or electronica playing to a U2-sized arena. These pop songs are definitely where the strength of the album lies. A band like this can risk merging all the songs into one large psychedelic wistful meander, which is moreso the case in the second half of the album. Not that there aren't good songs later on - the title track may be Kyte-by-numbers but is also a highlight of the album - but it is all abit messier and more subdued.
That's all very analytical, but a band such a Kyte do demand such an approach. To simplify things, this is still the same band you have heard before - delay, subtle layers, electronica, wistful vocals, and that glockenspiel sound all feature - but with bigger choruses and a pop sensibility. If you haven't heard them before of course, then I would definitely recommend this album as a starting point - they're certainly better than the Big Pink.
Picks: Fear From Death, Dead Waves, This Smoke Saves Lives
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