Kee Avil
Spine


3.0
good

Review

by DadKungFu STAFF
May 8th, 2024 | 6 replies


Release Date: 05/03/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All the right ingredients, a little undercooked

There’s quite a bit to like about Kee Avil’s sophomore album, a smattering of elements that might eventually, with more finesse and more focus, lead to an album that will be as essential as Spine is unique. For one, Avil’s got a wonderful, near-unparalleled ear for ambiance and timbre, each of her tracks gently clicking and humming with undercurrents of raw, simmering mood, shifting and slithering in and out of the shadows. Her patient, minimal guitar picking provides stark melodic material, the odd tunings building up towards a sense of alienation and dread, her whispered, fried ASMR-voice amplifying the sense of nearness, the sense of the music as, in a sense, folk, pop and industrial all played at the microbial level, music that evokes the feeling of the hairs standing up at the nape of the neck.

It’s intriguing, and inherently arresting for a brief period of time, but the spare nature of all these elements means that there’s going to have to be something more in the way of development, of a deeper sense of what these elements can bring to a single track if the album is to succeed. This sense can most clearly be heard on the pulsing, menacing highlight Gelatin, which, if more songs had followed this template, might have laid the blueprint for one of the peak underground albums of this year. As it is, we’re treated to a feast of mechanical clicks, whispers, drones and menace that ultimately, doesn’t quite satisfy. Avil’s great, near-virtuosic strength is atmosphere, but on a framework this sparse, the result is rather threadbare.

When we acknowledge that this is much more a triumph of production than it is a fully fledged album with a developed sense of songcraft and musical purpose, we start looking for where this project can go from here. I did very much enjoy my time with Spine. I think Avil’s an intensely original artist with a vision that deserves just a tad more boldness, finesse and variety than she’s able to display here. If Spine doesn’t quite live to its potential, it give us at least a glimpse of what Avil is capable of, and makes it very very clear that she’s an artist worth watching.



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user ratings (3)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2024


5024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Placeholder while my other rev gets proofread, some very cool ideas on this

Hawks
May 8th 2024


89540 Comments


Worst album art ever.

ToSmokMuzyki
May 8th 2024


11424 Comments


at first milliseconds of glance i thought i was looking at a leg, something hairy in between, and a corpse head

ArsMoriendi
May 9th 2024


41214 Comments


@Hawk: can't be, art looks like Pharmakon album art but less gross

WretchedCacophony
May 9th 2024


3070 Comments


"at first milliseconds of glance i thought i was looking at a leg, something hairy in between, and a corpse head"

yeah at thumbnail size I saw an ass with really long hair. Quite unsettling lol

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2024


5024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pharmakon makes good music, Kee Avil makes good ideas for music



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