Kíla Records KRCD 009; 65 minutes; 2003
Back in the 1970s there were plenty of “progressive” rock bands happy to ditch a decent tune in favour of an extended jam or a twenty-minute drum solo. Sadly, such afflictions have also infected Kíla, a seven-piece Irish band supposedly at the cutting edge of World Music whose collective dictionary has excised the word “subtlety”.
Suspicions mounted on first viewing the track listing, an exercise that discovered no fewer than three tracks of more than nine minutes’ duration. Repeated listening to the entire album provided the further information that the tunes which comprise those three tracks are about as memorable as a fish supper in Ramsgate (and far less pleasurable).
Kíla’s first problem is that their vehicle seems to have only two gears – overdrive and even more overdrive. The second is that their singer, founder and “main man”, Ronan Ó Snodaigh, has a voice which makes watching paint drying on a wall a more fulfilling alternative. Their third problem is that, six albums on, they seem to have exhausted their creative juices in favour of an approach that involves battering the hell out of every available instrument in the studio (and then nipping down to the local music shop and buying a few more).
Luna Park is supposed to be the album which “breaks” Kíla internationally. On this evidence, the only thing likely to break (apart from numerous assorted battered instruments) is the band itself.
This is review by Geoff Wallis was originally written for Songlines magazine – www.songlines.co.uk.
For more information about Kíla visit www.kilarecords.com.