White Noise For Kids is a groovy, psychedelic, and wild experience by Kytaro that punches you right in the face with its spacey textures and catchy compositions.
Don’t you love when one character you love appears as a guest in a show that you also love? ‘Is this a crossover episode?’, I hear you ask. Yes, this is a crossover episode. But we will be talking about about genres instead of characters. One love of mine is psychedelic music, as it carries a certain lightness and freedom with it that makes my mind feel cloudy. Another one would be math rock with its complex compositions, slick grooves, and fun attitude. But what if we put both together? Would this be a PB&J situation or are we the metaphorical Frankenstein here? Luckily for us, someone else delved into this experiment before we did and delivered us the answer. Kytaro is a Hungarian band that clashes wild, punchy psychedelic with thoughtful, but not less catchy math rock. On their debut White Noise For Kids, the band shows us how crossovers are done correctly.
Beginning our journey with “Kryptogyros”, we’re thrown in the deep end with some diminished synth chords, shimmering in the strobe light of a ring modulator. This insane wall of experimental noise is further accentuated by the jazzy drum patterns and the shrill guitar that leans into a post-hardcore groove. Soon an octave pedal is pulled into the scenery giving the guitar an ambidextrous sound, balancing organic and inorganic textures. After we’ve reached the halfway point of the song we reach a tasteful and punchy synth solo, fired through a massive plate reverb grazing the overtones of the oscillator in all the right ways. After this spacey breakdown, the band takes us even further with the octave pedal now generating an octave below the original guitar sound giving it massive bottom end to highlight the weird and laser-space-battle synth noises.
Also important, the band puts a lot more attention on the drums in the mix, as the always seem to be a safe base to retreat to when the crazy compositions spiral into the uncanny.
My personal favorite on the album is “Extra Safe Conditions”, a song that takes absolutely no prisoners, opening with a heavy, fuzzed-out guitar tapping into the crystalline feedback of the octaver, while the monophonic synthesizer runs arpeggios across the dense scene. Constant drum fills and thrashing hi-hat fumbling dominates the backdrop of the song. Here, the synth is mostly there to deliver harmonic extensions to the guitar and lead the atmosphere of the song into a certain direction, without forcing itself upon the track. Twinkling solos let the track cling out nicely at the end, giving us a well-crafted closure to this epic that barely missed the five-minute mark.
This weird but fitting integration of psychedelic synths into what sounds like a classic math rock record is what makes this the perfect analogy for PB&J. These stylistic choices aren’t too similar, but that just expands the musical horizon of the band even though they’re only a trio.
White Noise For Kids is both an intricately crafted record as well as a fun, almost casual experience. Listen to it with friends to get pumped or marvel in the glory of the chemistry these three people have while playing with each other. Kytaro has brought us one of the strongest debuts I’ve seen in a long time and after listening to White Noise For Kids what felt like a million times, I can only say that I want more!