Day (2005, KOA
This is New York City's Kite Operations third release
(first LP) since rising out of the ashes of Theselah in early 2003.
I can't speak for their earlier EP's (or Theselah) but they've certainly
wasted no time impressing fans locally and remotely (as far away
as Misawa, Japan) with their tantalizing cocktail of noisy, dynamic
indie rock. They've taken about 2 years to reach heights that normally
take most bands several years to ascend.
fuzzy noise-pop of the opening 'A Wonder' bristles along nicely
before giving way to the album's highlight, 'Effervescence'. The
latter quietly stumbles along before a slow-burning Sonic Youth
guitar scrape kicks in. At this point I've gotten a pretty big Seam
vibe, more specifically The Pace Is Glacial album - but
picture Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) at the helm instead. The
vocal delivery and the hypnotizing bassline in 'Head Of Steam' give
off a very slight hint of Shudder To Think. We find Kim reaching
for highs while drummer Sung Shin pounds and smashes away - seemingly
in a world of his own. Actually, you hear a lot of this whimsical
percussion all throughout the album - and it's most welcome even
if it could have been mixed a little better. It almost sounds like
Shin is bashin' trashcans out in the driveway while the rest of
the band keeps watch over the punch and chips inside.
Operations have managed to elude any kind of immediate pigeonholing
by throwing in unpredictable twists and turns. Where it seems the
band should be moving in a clockwise manner they instead come to
a complete stop and hit the rewind button. See the aptly-titled
'Surprise' - it opens on a mellow note with a basic melodic guitar
line, stops, regenerates, then bang! Kim starts wailing, cymbals
are bashed, a frenzied guitar assault erupts and somehow we've hopped
several time zones after only spending 7 minutes together. 'Senses
Are Next', featuring healthy portions of blistering guitar action
and start/stop dynamics, strays not far from the above formula.
The beautiful, starry-eyed 'Washing Out' as well as the loungey
'Hard Way' showcase Kim's diverse vocal range - one of many reasons
this album succeeds on almost all levels. One of the two bonus tracks
is a very stark, almost a capella, rendition of 'A Wonder' of which
reiterates the lines 'we have big confessions to make, this is not
the time of miracles, but it's a wonder we work at all'. No wondering
necessary here, I feel ya.