Heavily packed, phosphorescent, and powerful – these are just some of the words that merely begin to describe Kitsune‘s debut album.

Release date: December 9, 2019 | Independent | Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

Kitsune is a band hailing from Kelowna, Canada. They’re quite a young group, having only a few years of activity behind them, as well as two EPs and their current debut record in their repertoire. Kitsune are comprised of Kurtis Lloyd handling the vocal duties, Adam Gabert on bass, guitarists Cody Jackson and Adam Karame, and Troy Jeffery behind the drum kit. The band plays what could be defined as a progressively tinged blend of post-hardcore that takes some light influences from the emo and screamo stylings.

Nothing makes me happy anymore may be a rather short affair – clocking in at just a little over thirty-three minutes – but the record more than makes up for this with the sheer amount of punch it delivers. The runtime is spread rather evenly across eleven songs, and it seems to work well with the band’s delivery as they don’t feel neither too long nor too short. While some albums within this niche tend to become redundant even as they are being played, Kitsune manage to keep things engaging and rather dynamic from start to finish.

The record is fairly consistent throughout; however, this can be also viewed as a bit of a detriment, since it does make it a tad repetitive when things boil down to how it feels on the ears. It’s rare that bands find that consistency sweet spot, but Kitsune do a more than decent job of it nevertheless. Speaking of consistency: the one thing that seems to adhere most to this aspect is the vocal delivery. While it is solid and has no apparent shortcomings, it doesn’t really go out of its way do diversify things beyond the screamed, high-pitched tonalities and the classic clean vocal style.

In terms of composition, it’s noticeable that things tend to lean more heavily on the wall-of-sound sector of the ‘post’ elements more than on the textural exploration side of it. That’s totally fine, and I for one really enjoy this, especially because it reminds me of Illuminaudio-era Chiodos in a way. À propos reminders, “Well & Away” and “Beauty” hearken back strongly to how Saosin used to deliver their songs, and I’m really digging this as well, especially since it’s done with an authentic touch. This dense approach to how the songs unfold adds some much needed weight for such stylings, which tends to be more melodically inclined and heavily reliant on more high-pitched tonalities. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of bass in the mix, though!

The production value is vaguely reminiscent of the trademark djent style of production, as in things come off as a bit more compressed than they should be. I do enjoy, however, that everything is quite tight and clear. Maybe a better separation between the textural layers and the rest of the instruments would’ve been welcome, but I’m assuming this is how the band wanted it to turn out, lending some more effect to that aforementioned wall-of-sound characteristic.

All in all, Nothing makes me happy anymore is a pretty solid record, albeit not reinventing anything within this niche. Kitsune crafted a catchy, melodic, riffy record that’s a lot of fun, what with it being so bright and energetic. If by now you are convinced by some of the things I said, don’t overthink it, just go in and check out the record, it’s really cool.

Robert Miklos

Robert Miklos

What can I say? I love slapping buttons and listening to squiggly air.

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