Kinnie the Explorer – Kinnie the Explorer
The debut from this Bournemouth indie/post-rock quartet is characterised by unexpected shifts in direction: lead guitars mysteriously recede just as songs reach apparent crescendos; narcotic slow-burners step startlingly into uptempo trad-rock rhythms. Throughout, Kinnie the Explorer demonstrate an admirable lack of interest in contemporary arbiters of cool, as their choice of veteran prog producer Bob Drake demonstrates; much of the record is guided by an affection for the grandeur and mystique of 70s psych and space rock.
That unembarrassed engagement with epic atmospheres and themes, however, is offset by a relatively constrained sonic palette. At its most effective, this approach creates an impressively streamlined strain of neo-psych; but at other times it can feel lacking in inspiration. Kinnie the Explorer’s ubiquitous crystalline guitar arpeggios, for example, evoke Deerhunter’s neo-shoegaze textures, but lack their unearthly richness and variety. There is, nonetheless, an impressive, starry-eyed structural and thematic ambition evident here.