Review Summary: drifting; everybody gets the blues sometimes
I had a bit of a hard time believing that it was actually Kero Kero Bonito I was listening to here. Sure, the unique vocals of Sarah Perry can be identified easily from oceans away and the quirkiness of some of the instrumentation and synths is only something I’ve seen Kero Kero Bonito pull off so well. It’s just that, Time ‘n’ Place
is without a doubt the darkest thing the band has ever done, musically and thematically. Where Bonito Generation
felt like all sugar and cotton candy, Time ‘n’ Place
is the cracking and tearing down that happiness. It’s an illusion that’s slowly deteriorating before your very ears. Majority of the record is filled more with indie rock guitar riffs than it is synths and the lyrics are decidedly a much more darker affair than previously.
“But I heard all the years’ll leave you hurt
Everyone you love disappears and nothing works
Please don't say you hate the world
I hope that I won't”
All things considered, it works. Hell, to me, it works even better than Bonito Generation
did at some parts. Sarah’s vocals are perfect throughout the entirety of the record and each song bleeds into another like they’re being dissolved and cut away to show the next thing. It’s such a novel contrast from their earlier work. “Only Acting” breaks down at the end to reverse singing and sudden screeches, a moment that could easily give anyone listening chills, especially as it somehow effortlessly leads into the next track. The synths haven’t all left, and it shows everywhere, but the melody throughout the track “Visiting Hours” sticks out the most to me.
Heavier would be an awkward way to describe how Kero Kero Bonito incorporates more elements of rock and experimental into their formula, so I keep finding myself falling back onto ‘darker’. The band have darkened both their image and their music in a bid to evolve their sound further, in which it is apparent that they have nailed it 100% and beyond. When the indie rock riffs I mentioned earlier pop up, it’s utter ear candy. Sarah’s vocals melt your focus, drifting you through each song. The synths ebb and flow easier than ever before. Improvement may not be the best word, considering how top notch Kero Kero Bonito have always been, but the band has evolved into something different while retaining the qualities that made them so unique and interesting to listen to in the first place.