By Jonathan Smith
Kylesa could otherwise be known as “that sludgy-sounding band from Savannah with two drummers.” While technically accurate, this would be a great underestimation of what the band can do. Static Tensions, the latest album from the group, is made up of short but to-the-point songs and, while not a long album, packs quite a punch. Even in studio, it sounds as though male vocalist/guitarist Phillip Cope is shouting simply to be heard over the sonic riot that is the album’s sound. Opening track “Scapegoat” begins with rolling drums that immediately highlight the dynamic possibilities of two percussion tracks before launching into a pounding aural assault. For the most part Static Tensions is full-on metal with a fat, fuzzy sound; however, there are several moments in which things calm down slightly, featuring breaks with swaying psychedelic guitars and ethereal vocals (mostly provided by second vocalist/guitarist Laura Pleasants). These breather moments don’t last long, as tracks like “Perception” and “Unknown Awareness” combine the more reflective moments with a crashing return to walls of sludge-inflected metallic noise. Static Tensions leaves its listener simultaneously exhausted and energized.