K-X-P – II
Recorded between Berlin and their native Helsinki, K-X-P's sophomore record takes the heavily krautock-influenced template of their debut, and gives it a thrilling jolt of post-punk, math rock, electro and straight-up pop. It's an album that struggles to contain its myriad influences, but actually makes a very decent fist of it, the tracks coalescing in layers. Two-track madcap opener Ydolem / Melody moves from funereal trumpets to driving glam rock guitar and harmonies, completely wrong-footing the casual listener before diving into epic Faust-like jam Staring At the Moon.
Elsewhere we get swathes of brooding noise (RBJTEV), driving electro synth-pop (Magnetic North, with it's cheeful chorus “for those who are bored, Satan is Lord”), manic gothic pixie-pop meets post-rock (In TheValley), propulsive, PiL-influenced post-punk (Flags & Crosses) and frantic, mutant disco (Easy (Infinity Waits)). It's so densely packed with energy and influence that it's a little overwhelming at first, but key in to the madness, and K-X-P emerge as a bizarre and utterly unique talent. [Bram E Gieben]