Sixth album Ultraviolet is the release that Kylesa has arguably been hinting at across previous releases in moments and individual tracks but left inside until now. Filtering a psychedelic and shoegaze like warmth and expression through their distinctive sonic mastery, the band has created an album which you sense will not sit easy with some but will at the same time enslave a new breath of fever fuelled recruits to the continuing artistry and imagination of the band.
The eleven track release is another evolution in the sound of the band driven by core members vocalist/guitarists Laura Pleasants and Phillip Cope, an album sharing its temptation through the more expected senses swiping invention and sludge gaited essences they are renowned for and a mesmeric seduction which casts an enticing and resourcefully evocative wash over the ingenuity. It is a thrilling and enthralling encounter which without becoming their finest hour certainly is one of their more intriguing and riveting provocative escapes for thoughts and emotions.
Opening track ‘Exhale’ leaps upon the ear with strict imposing riffs and ear puncturing rhythms from the twin attack of drummers Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez whilst vocals melodically squall and intrude with passion around them. It is a carnivorous soaking which replaces violent hunger with certainly a rapacious eagerness but also a sirenesque discord coated persuasion which sparks the imagination and secures full attention. It is a magnetic barbed hook which cages attention and hunger for subsequent tracks instantly and soon matched by the following ‘Unspoken’, a track which opens up sultry melodic arms to draw in the listener whilst guitars and ambience colour the air with smouldering breath. It is not long though before the sinister predatory side of Chase Rudeseal’s bass as well as the guitars make their plea with the merger of all aspects leaving another potent enticement in place. It is impossible to resist as it subsequently also proves to be with the likes of the caustically yet transparently absorbing ‘We’re Taking This’, the spellbinding ‘Long Gone’, and the air exhausting ‘What Does It Take’. Throughout song and release the mix of the predominantly raucously shouted delivery from Cope and the tantalising coaxing tones of Pleasants is as inciting a proposition as the sonically carved hungry sounds and their merger with melodically enveloping enterprise, each track leaving a lasting and deep rooted impression, some with stronger depth to their success than others but all ultimately lighting fires within.
The climax of the album is its most impacting and intoxicating, especially with the outstanding ‘Vulture’s Landing’. A sonic lance pierces the ear first before agitated and electrifying rhythms stomp across the senses serenaded by the again delicious tones of Pleasants. The track begins with an early U2 like lure soon transformed into a conspiracy carved from essences of L7, Morningwood, and Melvins veined with a blaze of classic rock flames and psychedelic bewitchment. Best track on the album it, aided by the just as stimulating and creatively dazzling ‘Quicksand’ and the closing sultry breeze ‘Drifting’, leaves Ultraviolet an adventure which demands constant returns.
Employing a depth of flavours and textures, let alone invention which is hard to fully portray, Kylesa has brought their undoubted craft and ingenuity in a new thought consuming adventure which at its height ignites a furnace of passion and in its less potent moments, a sure hunger for more.