“Arm to arm they burned., with nothing to bear, you learned. No love, no burden, no memory.” – “Grievances,” KOWLOON WALLED CITY
Shifting even further from their sludgy post-hardcore roots towards a sparser, more melancholic heaviness, on the seven-track Grievances, strings rattle, guitars crackle and blister, notes ring out, at turns bleak and beautiful – sometimes both at once. Recorded and mixed by vocalist Scott Evans at Sharkbite Studios and his own Antisleep Audio, both in Oakland, the recording is honest and spacious, and intense without artifice or studio trickery.
From an advance review in the UK’s The List: “Purely sonically, this is a stunning record – big, clean guitars, used as knives, not hammers, over a vicious bass bite and drums that hang and resound, full of anticipation, tension and release. And the vocals are one of KOWLOON’s main weapons – where others in this milieu go for the guttural growl or the manly roar, Scott Evans’ anguished howl is purer, softer, full of sorrow and frustration dredged up from the belly … Compositionally, it’s incredibly smart but unflashy. At first, it appears simple and straightforward, but the arrangements are deceptively complex and wilfully elusive, focusing on elision and clashing sour chords. A key strategy finds the band building from an austere beginning to a colossal, climactic riff that repeats and repeats.”
Evans says, “The song ‘Grievances’ started with the investment bankers who threw a cocktail party overlooking an Occupy protest, and ended up at a 1911 shirt factory fire where dozens of employees died because the owners had locked the exits and stairwells. The album cover is related in some ways—look up Lewis Hine's photography from the early 1900s.”
Stream “Grievances” courtesy of Decibel Magazine at THIS LOCATION.
You can also hear “Backlit” streaming at NPR at THIS LOCATION.
KOWLOON WALLED CITY w/ Fight Amp:
11/1/2015 The Observatory - Day Of The Shred Fest - Santa Ana, CA
11/2/2015 Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
11/3/2015 Obsidian – Olympia, WA
11/4/2015 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
11/5/2015 Highline – Seattle, WA
11/6/2015 Black Water - Portland, OR
11/7/2015 Golden Bull – Oakland, CA * Grievances Record Release Show
KOWLOON WALLED CITY formed in 2007 and has released an EP, Turk Street (Wordclock, 2008), and two full-length albums, Gambling On The Richter Scale (Perpetual Motion Machine, 2009) and Container Ships (Brutal Panda, 2012), as well as two splits. Grievances is the band’s first release under the Neurot Recordings banner.