Kayo Dot
Stained Glass


3.5
great

Review

by Elijah Andrew STAFF
December 1st, 2010 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


Toby Driver is quite possibly the most inconsistent man in music today. Between bouts of sheer brilliance, Driver still manages to be hit or miss, with more recent releases falling into the latter category. Yet this man, whose musical resume resembles an enigmatic mixture of madness and genius, still manages to captivate me, even in his most uninspired and tepid moments. Maybe it’s the appeal of hearing something I’ve never heard before, as Driver is apt to deliver a new experience with every listen, or maybe, it’s because every release is a true form of artistic expression, encompassing everything that is, and has been, Toby Driver. Perhaps this sentiment is contrived, but regardless, Kayo Dot’s newest EP ,Stained Glass, stirs up every conflicting feeling I have ever had about the band, as well as Driver.

Stained Glass is an ambitious long form composition, with a run time of about twenty minutes. It’s musically conceptual, capturing felicity, agony, and convalescence within several movements. However, these transitions in mood are not as seamless as one would hope, because at about the six minute mark there is a rather jarring transition. However, for the most part, these separate movements ebb decently well into each other, making for one of Kayo Dot’s more cohesive listens. But regardless of how well they meld together, the moodiness is the crux of Stained Glass. Following in the footsteps of 2010’s Coyote, Stained Glass manages to be incredibly dark, gloomy, and morose. Yet unlike their previous effort, this EP doesn’t rely on bombastic movements of goth-rock intertwined with avant-garde, but rather, it works because of the melancholy ambiance and soundscaping. It’s more low key than their past two releases, feeling like a marriage between Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue and Blue Lambency Downward. Arguably this sounds less than desirable, but it genuinely works well, as the better aspects of both albums are represented well.

Stained Glass opens up with a lot of wind in its sails, with a menacing yet beautiful vocal segment performed by Toby Driver. The inclusion of vibraphonist Russell Greenburg adds an indelible amount of atmosphere as well, and the heavier emphasis on guitar is truly welcome. Yet it seems after brilliant first nine minutes, Stained Glass loses a bit of steam. The EP spirals into an ambient, droning segment, lasting for several minutes, which unfortunately kills the pace and flow. Luckily this doesn’t last too incredibly long, as Kayo Dot manage to salvage the remainder of the EP, and finish out very strong.

For those who have been disappointed with the more recent releases of Kayo Dot, Stained Glass might be just the thing to revitalize your interest in the band. While it doesn’t come out completely unscathed from all of the things that have been plaguing the band as of late, the EP is a breath of fresh air, and a testament to what Toby Driver can do when he gets his head out of his ass.



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user ratings (82)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Tojes Dolan (3.5)
A solid observation on color, form and figure by Toby Driver and Company....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I could not for the life of me think of a good summary.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

pizzamachine
December 1st 2010


12572 Comments


I could not for the life of me think of a good summary.

I have the opposite problem so I can't really empathize haha. Great review!

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys, yeah pizza, I wish I had your ability to write good summaries....mine are terrible haha!

crazyblinddude
December 1st 2010


3389 Comments


I forgot he as releasing a follow up EP to his last album. I'll have to check this out.

But nice review. You're really cranking them out nowadays.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha thanks, but I really have slowed down these past few weeks. I remember have like 10 in one week, I think I've learned to pace myself though

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010


7321 Comments


Great review Xeno - have a pos. I particularly like the personality you display in this piece - you're really striking a perfect balance between being conversational and critical, and that makes your reviews even better to read. And trust me when I say they were excellent already.

Suggestion for a summary: This one's pretty o-Kayo.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey thanks man, you continue to be one of the most helpful and kind users on this site, even on the stuff I write (this) that no one cares about haha

Bitchfork
December 2nd 2010


7584 Comments


The synth whirs in this are the only flaw because they're not as effective as they could have been had he not have been avoiding the use of guitar.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


7321 Comments


Hahaha you make me sound like a saint Xeno, but all I'm really doing is describing what it is that I see =)

Also, the last sentence of this review is somuchwin.

jambi93
December 2nd 2010


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm glad you brought up that wack transition. this one certainly does not compare to coyote or blue lambency downward if you ask me.

Mordecai.
December 2nd 2010


8282 Comments


here is your summary:

"i am not a poodle"

Mordecai.
December 2nd 2010


8282 Comments


or:

"kayo dot. good? you decide."

jambi93
December 2nd 2010


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bud i got em both last night spinnin on my stereo

jambi93
December 2nd 2010


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nahhh

jambi93
December 2nd 2010


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dling as we speak master spudnik

204409
Emeritus
December 2nd 2010


3996 Comments


Excited to listen.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No one asked you......jk man, but I found immortelle to be much more soothing

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, personal attatchments can make an album a complete different experience eh? Might I ask what your thoughts are on Choirs? Its a favorite of mine.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mmhhh......for me,

Choirs>dowsing>bld=coyote

Mind you I haven't listened to the rest as nearly as much as choirs

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2010


10677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah dude, its clear you are a ridiculous fanboy, but there are far worse things you be a fanboy of ;)

Like, I had TMV: Octahedron at a 4.5 at one point haha.....it was soooo not a 4.5 lol



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