OK, so this album cover gets the weird cover of the year award. I mean….look at it….yeah 🙂

But it actually refers to the inspiration behind the whole Kinison-Goldthwait album which was a 1980’s vocal spat between two leading US comics, Bobcat Goldthwait and Sam Kinison, over who stole who’s act, with the whole thing coming to a head rather loudly and publicly on Howard Stern’s US radio show.  It seems a somewhat trivial and rather obtuse event to choose for the album’s inspiration and even Danny Saul admits that nothing much should be read into this, so let’s leave it there and get onto the music.

This is Danny Saul’s second full length album under his own name , his previous album ‘Harsh, Final’ on the White Box label being well received. His earlier output includes a string of EP’s (Filthy Home Recordings) and collaborations (with Xela and Tsuji Giri) and he is one half of Liondialer with Greg Haines, who recently toured Japan with Machinefabriek and the Kleefstra brothers (tour CD now out on White Box – WB 009).

The tracks are named after the protagonists and events of Kinison v Goldthwait and to some extent you can pick up the theme of an argument within the whole piece as it swings from calm to fury and back again. The first three tracks of Kinison are full of gorgeous textured drones and proceseed sounds, some clearly with acoustic origins and others impossible to define. Track 3 in particular sounds like a much shorter acoustic piece stretched out with endless delays and reverbs to give huge echoing washes of sound – its like being in one of those Matrix style bullet-time sequences with everything moving slowly around you in a different musical continuum.

Track 4, Robert Francis, opens with rumbling drones that transform into tectonic shifts of sound. This magma chamber of processed mayhem is about to blow and sure enough, it does, as atonal and increasingly chaotic sounds burst into a cacophany of harsh distortion which mercifully winds down to a sparse piano melody at the end.

With track 5, On Howard Stern, things certainly come to a head as punchy stabs of guitar drone and distorted strings fragment onto a very harsh screeching white-noised wall of sound that simply became unlistenable for me with my sensitive hearing at these high frequency levels.

The final track, On US Route 95, restores peace and calm with a repetitive piano melody, field recorded sounds and a Hammond type organ drone of chord textures that slowly fades out.

This album is certainly a highly accomplished work in terms of the musical journey and the range of sounds at play here. Sadly, for me, it was not a totally wondrous experience due to the painful use of white noise and distortion effects on two tracks which just resulted in me having to turn it down fast to relieve the stress on my very sensitive hearing at these high frequencies. I really don’t need to hear this kind of noise in experimental music any more, its not exciting, interesting or pushing the envelope and it has all been done before.  Putting those two brief noise episodes aside though there is much sonic goodness to admire and appreciate in this album and it is well worth a listen – just stay close to the volume knob!

Danny Saul – Kinison Goldthwait. Hibernate Recordings HB21. Released November 29th 2010.

Hibernate Recordings: http://www.hibernate-recs.co.uk/releases/hb21/hb21.html

Danny Saul Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/dannysaul 

Danny Saul Blog: http://dannysaul.blogspot.com/