Kaonashi
The 3 Faces of Beauty


4.5
superb

Review

by Matty CONTRIBUTOR (60 Reviews)
February 15th, 2024 | 9 replies


Release Date: 01/26/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I've Been Lost for a While Now

High school and the many trials and tribulations surrounding those four years have proven fairly inconsequential to me in the grand scheme of my life; even more so now that I approach thirty years on this planet, have a wife, have a steady career and have find myself being a thoroughly happier person. Those memories of being bullied for having long hair, the stress of high-pressure exams and the awkward pursuit of girlfriends feel like another lifetime, and I scream good riddance to that period of my life (straight into a hyperbolic void where no one can prove that I screamed anything.) A time period often associated with nostalgia or in my case, complete and utter cringe is something that I don’t hear bands tackle lyrically very often, if ever, especially from a story-based, first-person perspective. Kaonashi are that band, and their quirky, off-putting sound highlight the jarring emotions and sufferings of that fundamental era of childhood.

To simply categorize these songs and lyrics as high school anecdotes isn’t truly putting into perspective the creativity and range of these songs. Often tackling racism, anxiety, depression, societal pressure amongst other hot-button topics, Kaonashi have advanced past simply stressing over remembering locker combinations or studying for the next math quiz. They stress the social factors, the emotional trauma and resentment associated with failing, associated with that feeling of being and outcast or being awkward, it’s all very present and real. “Humiliation Ritual” is a slow-building crusher of a song that sees its narrator getting out of school and being stared down by a bunch of other guys while trying to cross the street. Having been followed, laughed at and pushed to the ground by these guys, the narrator finds himself in a helpless situation of being ignored by other students he knows that are passing by without even glancing towards them or helping out, being forced to deal with this fear. The music creates a lot of tension; while the lyrics tend to repeat, the vocal cadence follows a routine, the music is based off a simple riff that slows down till finally reaching a climax of pounding, molasses-slow breakdown beats while the vocalist screams “No matter which way I go/It’s a one-way street/I still haven’t found peace.”

“I Hate the Sound of Car Keys” explores the relationship between the narrator and his father who is emotionally and verbally abusive towards him, often speaking on the lack of support and lack of love they receive from both his father and other male “father-like figures” in their life. The song is chaotic, explosive and determined to bring a certain discomfort with the vocalist’s high shrieks playing into the traumatic soundscapes that Kaonashi have become known for. Their vocalist’s approach to vocals in general is a strong point of contention and disdain for many listeners, often employing very high, yelled, shrill screams which come off a bit cartoonish at times. I certainly understand how this can be a bit off putting for some listeners, but I find it to carry a charm and originality that many bands in the scene to lack. It showcases a sound that distinguishes them from the crowd, for better or worse.

Aside from that elephant in the room, musically this band is insanely talented and frequently shifts tempos and time signatures; asserting themselves creatively with genre switch-ups and ideas that I have literally not heard before in this style of music. The chaotic nature of mathcore mixed with the emotional gravity of emo/post-hardcore and then slap on some pretty meaty ***ing breakdowns and riffs and boom, you’ve got yourself a Kaonashi hit single. Also, quick side note: saw the band post about having a viral tik tok sound with “I Hate the Sound of Car Keys” and to see a band that is in a way, so difficult to listen and a bit challenging AND have like 30k monthly listeners on Spotify getting some traction like that, is insanely cool to see. Back to the review…

This EP sounds immense with the bass cutting through the mix beautifully, the drums just clicking and popping with tons of power and crispiness; it’s a great listen in that way. When compared to their previous full length and debut EP, these songs are a major glow-up sonically with all the bass drops and all the breakdowns and all the riffs just sounding massive and furious. The pursuit of quality both in sound and song is admirable and highlights the need for bands like these that take left-field ideas and concepts and make them into something unique. Take a chance and experience something that might bring you a smile or two and definitely have your arms swinging in the pit.



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user ratings (24)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2024


1775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oof, it's been a while. Super rusty. Check this shit out!

SteakByrnes
February 15th 2024


29827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review, I unfortunately think this is by far the worst thing they've done lol

Purpl3Spartan
February 15th 2024


8619 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was a serious misstep

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2024


1775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Sorry you guys didn't enjoy as much as some of their other stuff! I'm finding myself really impressed with how much they're doubling down on the quirkier aspects of their sound and still managing to make some pretty brutal tracks.

SaveBandit
March 18th 2024


3291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Car Keys rules, but the rest of this is pretty bland unfort.

Purpl3Spartan
March 18th 2024


8619 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah that’s the only good song here

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2024


26592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

last track is good, but everything else bounced off me

Spec
March 29th 2024


39469 Comments


I Hate the Sound of Car Keys is fuckin’ siiiiiiiick.

Purpl3Spartan
March 29th 2024


8619 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The only good track (2)



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