Posted in metal | music | tour dates on August 25, 2014

by Ian Chainey

Kayo Dot at IO SXSW showcase, 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)

Kayo Dot warned that Coffins on Io, their new album to be released on October 16 via The Flenser Records, was going to be different. In the PR-cast baited hook that accompanied the original announcement, leader Toby Driver said as much: "Basically the vibe that we're going for here is inspired by 80s retro-future noir-- Blade Runner. I wanted to make a good record to put on while you drive across the desert at night under a toxic, post-apocalyptic atmosphere." Then, there were the touchstones. To describe a track, Driver said, "The sound is kind of like a sexy combination of Type O Negative, Peter Gabriel, Sisters of Mercy." Huh. You didn't want to doubt him because Kayo Dot has show themselves to be adept at anything -- blasted-to-pieces chamber music, heartfelt doom, ultra-dark proggy jazz; whatever you got. But gothy new wave Vangelisms? For real?

For real.

"Library Subterranean" alleviates doubts. Beginning with an atmospheric overture recalling Killing Jokes' Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, the song then drops into a section of floaty synth-driven art pop, complete with Driver's airy, yet limber singing. At this stage, "Library Subterranean" can barely be contained, almost the listening equivalent of sliding around linoleum in socks. The track careens from style to style, sound design to sound design, and the thrills and spills are bracing. However, Kayo Dot will soon lock in. At 2:55, they start aligning and recalibrating the instruments, first with a pulsating thrum that's Meshuggah if played by Ashra, and then with a biting/corrosive guitar-led chase that's straight Voivod. For its finale, "Library Subterranean" transitions into King Crimson in a volume duel with Urban Sax. Welcome to your what?/whoa! moment.

Now, I know how that reads, but it works. And that's the thing: while it's playing, "Library Subterranean" flows perfectly. It's just that when you're thinking about it afterwards, you can't even fathom how they put this together. In fact, you sound like a crazy person even trying to recount it. But, hey, that's how Kayo Dot have always been and will be, no matter the genre they're trying to climb. They're a band of a thousand sounds and all of them somehow end up equaling the real Kayo Dot. The track premieres here and can be streamed below.

In preparation of the release, Kayo Dot will be playing a show at NYC's Trans-Pecos with Islaja and Ill Convoy on September 20. Per the Facebook event page, Driver promises a new song will be unveiled. Other things you learn from that link: Driver, when he's not composing wild soundtracks and next-level songs, is money with descriptions of other artists. On the beguiling bedroom avant-pop of Islaja:

Her first US show ever?!?!?! I really don't know, but damn! It's like icy boreal lonesome bedroom vibes, like Burzum if he was actually a good musician, not interested in metal, and not a racist piece of shit
Mr. Driver, Invisible Oranges has openings. The other band, Ill Convoy, is a collaboration between Brandon Seabrook and Judith Berkson. Seabrook has displayed his guitar fret acrobatics on record a couple times this year, both solo and as a guest. Should be interesting.

Stream "Library Subterranean," with a video from Islaja, below...

Coffins of Io artwork

Coffins of Io tracklisting
1. The Mortality of Doves
2. Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22
3. Longtime Disturbance on the Miracle Mile
4. Library Subterranean
5. The Assassination of Adam
6. Spirit Photograph



Comments (28)

worst band ever, toby is shit

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:25 AM

pretentious bullshit

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:25 AM

this is batshit insane! I like it

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:45 AM

The bass groove on the last four minutes is so insanely technical, yet so strangely danceable.

Posted by Derek | August 25, 2014 10:45 AM


Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:45 AM

Is it just me, or does that album cover look like a falafel ball sitting on top of a Pita Triangle?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:03 AM

ahh that is gorgeous. Might have to do a 10 hour loop of that ending

Posted by marinecreature | August 25, 2014 11:20 AM

@10:25(2) not every band has to sound like AC/DC you mouthbreather

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:25 AM

@11:25 except they should doe

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:29 AM

doe dah doe doe

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:31 AM

Trans-Pecos is a great spot

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 11:40 AM

lol @ haters with defective brains.

Posted by Ryan Hanson | August 25, 2014 12:18 PM

Got a hunch 'Anonymous | August 25, 2014 10:25 AM [x2]' is a disgruntled Gareth Mason.

The poly at 4:00 is brilliant! Then enter Blade Runner synth. So much 'yes.'

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 12:40 PM

translation of the comments accusing of "pretentiousness":

"i'm too dumb to absorb this music, which makes me angry, and i need everyone to know about it!"

it only takes a few moments to research the meaning of the word pretentious, friends.

this is ultra deep!

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:21 PM

translation of 1:21

"I love you Toby, and maybe you'll let me give you the "happy ending" on the 20th?"

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:45 PM

we need a sequel to coyote

Posted by sonmi-451 | August 25, 2014 1:57 PM

haha, 1:45, i do love toby and i love you too!

love > hate : )

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 1:58 PM

Band scandal: 10:25 is Tim Byrnes

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:34 PM

from opiate to stimulant

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 2:40 PM

book more shows at Trans Pecos please

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 3:52 PM

is this metal?

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 4:06 PM

No, it's 'metal(?)' :D

Question mark included. ;)

Posted by Anonymous | August 25, 2014 6:38 PM

Brunch kills most post city bandz.

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | August 25, 2014 7:51 PM

This is like Star Wars episodes I, II, and III. If Choirs of the Eye had never been made, nobody would review this song.

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 5:51 AM

operation mindcrime!

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 7:18 AM

If you don't understand Toby's music just walk away. What's the point of showing your aggression here?

Posted by Anonymous | August 26, 2014 4:18 PM

i just preordered the vinyl and cd. i want to support toby as much as possible. every thing he's ever put out has pushed me forward artistically and nobody else comes close.

Posted by frederick rowland | August 26, 2014 5:49 PM

When I read the info I was "uh-oh" for a moment. Then I heard the track and went "oohh ok, this is Kayo Dot alright". Now I'll have to preorder.

Posted by t. | August 26, 2014 10:50 PM

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