Kashmir
No Balance Palace


3.0
good

Review

by Sepstrup USER (20 Reviews)
December 29th, 2005 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Kashmir is a Danish band, seriously hyped in Denmark. They get good reviews, and most Danish music lovers count Kashmir as being one of their favourite bands, and everyone knows their music. Possibly, the biggest Danish band around (They haven’t really had an international breakthrough, though). They play alternative rock in the style of Radiohead, but with a distinctive sound, mainly due to Kasper Eistrup’s vocals. They are named after the Led Zeppelin song “Kashmir”, but do not really seem to draw any inspiration from them, on the new albums (Haven’t heard that much of their two first releases, they are very different from their current style, and don’t really sound like their three latter albums) . Allegedly, it was because they had very different tastes in music, but all agreed Kashmir was a good song.

The album was seriously anticipated. Tony Visconti (producer of David Bowie and T. Rex, among others) was going to be the producer, a rumour started circling, that David Bowie himself, megastar and musical icon, would be featured on this album. As a Bowie fan with a liking to Kashmir (I wouldn’t call myself a fan. Not compared to many other Danes at my age, anyway.), this was very interesting; and as if it wasn’t enough, it was later made known that Lou Reed would also be featured on the able, reading a strange poem to dark backing music. It seemed unbelievable, really. Granted, Kashmir are huge in Denmark, but still we are a tiny country of only five million inhabitants, and Kashmir haven’t had that much success internationally. For some reason, Bowie was already familiar with Kashmir’s music. The rumour is that Kasper Eistrup (who has stated that he sees Bowie as a musical icon equalled only by Elvis) sent him an mp3 of ’The Cynic’ and asked him, if he would sing the second verse, and Bowie allegedly replied: “Sure, I would have no problem doing that.” A big day for Kasper, I’m sure.

Their previous album, Zitilites, was great; the best of their career up to this point, and expectations were sky-high. The album came out on the 10th of October, at which time many lined up outside the record stores. The biggest Danish music magazine gave the album 5/6. I didn’t follow the hype and get this right away, though, but since they are one of the most talked-about band in Denmark (including international artists), I felt I had to check it out, even more so because it featured Bowie and Lou Reed.

The album is darker-sounding than most of their other recordings. (After their first two albums, Cruzential and Travelogue, their style changed significantly, so I am only comparing this album to The Good Life and Zitilites, the two albums of Kashmir I’m most familiar with.). It’s more noise-rock (Sonic Youth amongst others) inspired, and there aren’t any bouncy pop-songs like “Big Fresh” on Zitilites, nor any real ballads like the impressive “Lampshade” on The Good Life. This might be their most serious and introspective album so far. As a result it has less catchiness, than The Good Life and Zitilites. It makes up for it by being more ambitious and experimental. Living in Denmark, it is rather difficult to rate as an unbiased reviewer. Kashmir are so massive in Denmark, and everybody loves them, but to me they are rather overrated; a good band, surely, but there is much better music out there. It seems a bit close-minded, actually, that so many revere Kashmir to such an extent, instead of listening to music from the outside world.

They’re not that good, anyway, and far from being my favourite band. As a result of this massive hype, some music fans write off Kashmir entirely, and begin to hate their music (Much like some do with Nirvana, partly due to their popularity). I neither love nor hate them. They are a good band, a good live act, and this album is a step forward for them.

The quartet, under the guidance of Tony Visconti has created an album that most music fans of Denmark have now heard and made their mind up about. The single “The Curse of Being a Girl” was dismissed by many, and it isn’t very good either. It gets repetitive, and the lyrics are rather poor. His voice is somewhat annoying on this particular track, as well. One of the least interesting songs on the album. The album opener “Kalifornia” is a song that flows well, with pleasant guitar lines (Eistrup is a decent guitarist, but far from a virtuoso), and a great chorus. It’s perhaps the most ‘Kashmir’ of all the songs on the album and definitely one of the best. Check this song out, and if you like it, you’ll like most of Kashmir’s stuff. The best song is probably “The Cynic”, featuring Bowie. It’s very different from their usual style, but it works well and has a fantastic chorus. The track featuring Lou Reed, “Black Building”, is eerie, and very fitting of his sombre voice. It’s a short spoken-word track about an empty building, very strange, really. (Kashmir haven’t tried out something like that before). It ends abruptly, as the narrator tells about him and his friend breaking in. The final line leads up to the final track: “An on the right side, I counted seven doors”

The title-track and closer “No Balance Palace” is also the longest song on the album. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s their longest song ever, at 8:03. Another new thing for them. It’s a pretty rocking song, that changes feel halfway through. A minute and a half or so before it ends, it changes into a slow, stripped-down song, a nice way to end the album.

Conclusively, Kashmir are a good band that have put out a good album. It’s not as fantastic as some make it out to be, nor as bad as some others make it out to be. Whether it’s their best album, I’m not sure. Zitilites is probably slightly better, but this album is more ambitious, and probably a more interesting approach to the band, if you are new to their music. I’m going to give it the rating of 3, leaning towards 3,5. I hope some of you choose to check it out.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.7
great
related reviews

Trespassers

Zitilites


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sepstrup
December 29th 2005


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The rating was made following the Rolling Stones scale. I try to be moderate with my ratings... This is a good album, worth checking out if it sounds like it appeals to you.



And please vote, one way or the other. Leave a comment, even if you aren't familiar with Kashmir...



EDIT: Also, don't think Zitilites is much much better because the other reviewer gave it a perfect 5. That was a classic example of overrating Kashmir This Message Edited On 12.29.05

Two-Headed Boy
December 29th 2005


4527 Comments


never heard of these guys. i should check em' out. would they be hard to find in good ol' Canada?

Sepstrup
December 29th 2005


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes... They would. Might be possible to find them on cdwow or something, but I'm not sure.



I know they are released in Scandinavia and Germany, but they haven't had their international break-through, really...This Message Edited On 12.29.05

Two-Headed Boy
December 29th 2005


4527 Comments


i'll try and download a few songs first before i begin shipping stuff

Sepstrup
December 29th 2005


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Their best songs:



Lampshade, Vote 4 Dick Taid, Surfing The Warm Industry, The Cynic



Other good songs:



Kalifornia, The Aftermath, The Push, Mom in Love Daddy in Space, Rose, Jamie Fame Flame.



There you go This Message Edited On 12.29.05

Zebra
Moderator
December 29th 2005


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review, I agree with almost everything that you said and I never agree with anyone about ratings...weird.



This is a good album, nothing great but just a good album that I listen to occasionaly.



Sepstrup
December 29th 2005


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the nice comments... It isn't my first language, no.



Are you from Scandinavia or Germany? Or how did you come across the album? Not sure exactly how easy it is to get outside of Denmark.

Sepstrup
December 29th 2005


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah, okay. Well check out some of their other stuff... It's good

krchitwood
June 14th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm really getting into Kashmir, but am having trouble getting their songs. I first heard them on pandora.com (awesome website if you haven't been there), but I live in the US so iTunes doesn't have them. My only option is amazon.com, but it cost $30!!! Any ideas?

Sepstrup
June 15th 2006


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You could join the alt/indie mailing list in the forum, and I could help you out

krchitwood
June 18th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey Sepstrup, I sent you an e-mail k...

DrMarat
July 10th 2007


2 Comments


I also heard some of this on Pandora. Jewel Drop is the bomb. I got the CD today through a Amazon marketplace seller.

Dis_Con_Nec_Ted
July 10th 2007


4920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

seriously, if you guys like some of their tracks, no matter from which album, you should definitely check out their back cataloge!



all five albums sound really different from each other and they're all amazing in their own way.



lol the reason why i sound like total fanboy is because these guys need as many positive words as they can get.



they are Denmark's finest*

alightinflesh
June 10th 2011


1 Comments


http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/08/les_paul_rip.html

bondospecial
September 27th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I started listening to Kashmir without any bias or prior knowledge of them (I'm in the United States). I found them through Pandora, on my "Supergrass" playlist. I have every album from the Good life through EAR now and love them all. Kasper Eistrup's songwriting and the band's musicianship are wonderful. I am surprised at the mediocre average reviews on Kashmir's albums, it is some of the best stuff I have found in a long time.



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