Pree Tone - Kiddy

6 songs
44:45 minutes
***** *****


I’ve been getting a lot of promo albums from the untitled record label from Moscow in Russia, and when I got the latest longplayer from Ukrainian band Pree Tone, I expected the same endearing noise attacks that many other bands of that label profess. And frankly, listening to Pree Tone’s back catalogue, that’s what you generally hear on their earlier albums, but somehow in the last year, the quartet must have made a quantum leap into a whole new universe.

The band was founded in 2014, right at the time of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Instead of getting mad with all the crap that was going on, some guys decided to found a rock band, and soon released their debut album Brights to critical acclaim in their home country. Concerts and festival slots followed, with the band busily recording and releasing more albums and EPs. Last year alone, they released the rather self-indulgent D-A with two songs of seventeen and twenty-seven minutes respectively, and the EP L’Illustré with two eleven-minute tracks. Their new album, simply titled Kiddy, contains six songs that average about seven minutes each, and while on the surface the band still performs its mix of noise rock and shoegaze psychedelia, the final result has improved in such a way that you might think you’d be listening to a different band.

First of all I love the production. The vocals may be a little subdued, but that really works well with the hypnotic rhythm section that leaves the two guitars so much space to freak out that I could only think of Sonic Youth at their best time – let’s say from the late Eighties to the early Nineties – and also somehow of Television’s eponymous debut album from 1977. And while the guitars rule the game from the beginning to the end, we should not dismiss the excellent songwriting that gives each and every track its unmistakable identity. The slightly monotonous vocals remind at times of the late Mark E. Smith, the rhythm section adds an undeniable krautrock flavour, and the noisy guitars make sure that we are left with a cocktail not only containing the best of ingredients, but also mixed in a way that it’s refreshing and purest bliss.

If you love Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, you will also be amazed at how well these four Ukrainians revive the spirit of guitar driven psychedelic noise rock. It’s wild and fierce, but also melodic and fragile at times, and definitely the best guitar rock album I have heard in a very long time, and I am thinking here of years!

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