Kiss Kiss
Reality Vs. The Optimist


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
January 18th, 2007 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Orchestral Punk band's proper debut meets high expectations.

If Kiss Kiss’s sound on Reality Vs. The Optimist was to be compared to an animal of some kind; the animal would most certainly be the house cat, preferably a black house cat. Like the cat, Kiss Kiss’s sound is pretty, mysterious and sleek. Combing some of the more accessible elements of Punk, Experimental and Indie, their music is dark and unpredictable and, when compared with all other house pets, the cat is as well. It should also be noted that the cat is my favorite of all house pets. But, to all of the folks who read my last Kiss Kiss review, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise I like Reality Vs. The Optimist, the band’s proper debut. After all, Kiss Kiss’s sound hasn’t changed all that much since their self-titled EP was released. Not that there is any reason it should have. There are, however, reasons not to like Reality Vs. The Optimist quite as much.

For one, there probably isn’t anything on Reality that stands up to the genius of the EP’s Says My Doctor . The tracks are a little more straight forward in general, sticking to a more Punkish route and leaving out many of the smooth, beautiful Indie/Experimental-esque elements that initially made me smitten with the band’s sound. Of course, this straight-forward, more Rockin’ side of the band has its upsides too. Likewise, Reality Vs. The Optimist has some pretty fucking good songs. The Cats in Your House, for example, is just about as good as anything on the original EP. The song is very piano heavy, with choruses laden with keyboard pounding and violin noises. After some quick verse-chorus-verse flirtings the song erupts into a bridge of ravenous distorted bass, and later into a violin driven outro.

While some tracks on Reality take a more conventional route, like album opener Janet , with its catchy and memorable violin lead chorus, others have an almost Post Rock feel to them. Such could easily be said for Iris and Eye . Beginning with a terrifying crescendo of rolling percussion, guitar, strings and screeching feedback, Iris and Eye kicks in with singer, Josh Benash singing “I forgot to drown you” over a tight drum beat and a not-your-typical-punk-band guitar/piano combo. In the song’s last minute, everything kicks into overdrive, with a nothing short of spectacular orchestral build-up. All of this thrown together in three minutes and twenty five seconds makes for one hell of a second song.

The one-two punch of album ender Stay the Day and second to last Vagabond alone is reason to fall in love with Reality Vs. The Optimist. The latter begins relatively poppy but ends in a rather epic, rather beautiful chorus outro which sees Benash singing “I'm on my knees, tired and worn, just like a vagabond” in a horribly pained voice over sonically appealing violin and guitar. The former is the “ballad” of the album, and is no less because of it. Housing the quivering strings, dark piano lines and soaring backing vocals I have become so familiar with, Stay the Day finishes off what could be my favorite up-and-coming band’s debut album. Better than the EP? Maybe not. Excellent all the same? Most definitely.

-Dan



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user ratings (106)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
January 18th 2007


3243 Comments


Enjoyable review, nearing the big 100 I see

Jom
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2007


3168 Comments


I was wondering how you guys share a joint account... do you guys do a paper-scissors-rock game to see who will get to review next, or do you guys actually discuss it civilly? And are you dudes twins or is one older than the other? Well, you know what I mean.
Great review, though, you guys are catching up to 100 real quick.

The Jungler
January 18th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=Jom]I was wondering how you guys share a joint account... do you guys do a paper-scissors-rock game to see who will get to review next, or do you guys actually discuss it civilly? And are you dudes twins or is one older than the other? Well, you know what I mean.[/quote]We are twins. Basically, reviews get posted once they are written and the non-writer has proof-read and edited it. Usually we don't have reviews finished at the same time, but, yesterday we had to decide which review was going to get posted when.

Thanks for the comments.

La Revolucion
January 18th 2007


1060 Comments


Good review.

The Door Mouse
January 18th 2007


2092 Comments


Nice review. I'll look out for the big 1-0-0.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2007


3168 Comments


We are twins. Basically, reviews get posted once they are written and the non-writer has proof-read and edited it.

Too bad that doesn't apply for comments, too ;)
But that's really cool. Nice system.

The Jungler
January 19th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What? What's wrong with that sentence :lol:



I'd really like to read your review of this Plath, I wish I knew enough about math rock to add something about it in this review This Message Edited On 01.18.07

Jom
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2007


3168 Comments


Haha, nothing's wrong with it, that's my fault for thinking "proof-read" was in the past tense instead of the present :o
Can't weasel my way out of that mistake, heh.

Look forward to my review in 2015.

oic

Kaleid
January 20th 2007


741 Comments


Like the cat, Kiss Kiss’s sound is pretty, mysterious and sleek

SOLD!

trustxdialect
March 25th 2007


1502 Comments


Bump, because there are only three ratings and this is excellent.

The Jungler
March 25th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Always good when someone a) bumps my review and b) likes Kiss Kiss.

You should get the EP if you don't have it already.

trustxdialect
April 16th 2007


1502 Comments


Bump to break up the front page mess!

This keeps getting better everytime I listen to it. Movin' on up, y'know.

Electric City
Emeritus
July 24th 2007


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really good. Iris and Eye is my favorite.

jrowa001
August 8th 2007


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive been getting back into this album, i forgot how good it was

Electric City
Emeritus
September 30th 2007


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tight, excellent album throughout.

samthebassman
November 9th 2007


2164 Comments


I finally got hold of this... not sure if I love it or hate it though.

flashii
November 29th 2007


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review, easy to read and also entertaining.



Got the album and thought it was really well done. I talked to them and they mentioned how track order is important (the discussion was on the downsides of digital distribution) I think their emphasis is easily seen in the album.



I also recall someone mentioning how the atmosphere is like being in the mind of a serial killer, totally agreed with it and thats all I think about when I listen to it now.



Electric City
Emeritus
November 30th 2007


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are a killer live band, and nice guys too.

iarescientists
December 24th 2007


5865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just listened to this again for the first time in quite a few months



i don't remember it being this good before :confused:

Electric City
Emeritus
December 24th 2007


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly, Kiss Kiss can suck your dick.



(list reference)This Message Edited On 12.24.07



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