Cedric : Most of the time Canadians are known for their kindness and politeness, a truly friendly nation, but the gentlemen of KEN mode are here to show us that this is not always the case. Well, I of course mean it on a musical level in this case. I do not know the guys personally, and maybe they are just a bunch of big cuddly teddybears. Who knows? Their music on the other hands pays a visit to the darkest parts of your soul, the parts where agression and fear are working together towards bad decisions and furious outbreaks of rage. It is not without a reason that the bandname stands for Kill Everyone Now mode.
The last album by KEN mode that I heard was ‘Success’, released in 2015. The year after they also released another record, ‘Nerve’, but I never got to hear that one. I must say that I found ‘Success’ to be a really cool album, which was a bit different than their older work because they incorporated more of their early influences into the sound of their songs. Influences from bands like The Melvins or Nirvana could in some way be heard throughout that record. ‘Loved’ marks more of a return to the oldschool days of KEN mode, back to blunt and agressive-sounding songs. So be ready and keep those fists in attack mode while listening to the album.
For those of you who never heard KEN mode’s music, it could be described as a mix between alternative noiserock, metal and mathcore. It could also be that you will find it hard to relate to the music when you are listening to it for the first time, but the more spins you give it, the more all dissonant pieces of the puzzle just seem to fall together. Influences from bands like Shellac and Unsane are being used, but are presented in a slightly more agressive-sounding version of it. Therefor, I can strongly advise you to not listen to this record while driving your car. The band is not responsible in case of accidents or outbursts of roadrage. The band also likes the element of experiment in their music. They dare to slow it down once in a while but also crazy saxophone arrangements are added to the songs. It just makes the whole sound a lot more nervous-sounding. Listen to a song like ‘The Illusion Of Dignity’ for example, in which all of these elements are planning a serious attack to your eardrums.
Every album by these Canadians sounds just a tad different, but still they manage to keep a recognizable sound throughout all of their work. Fans of 90’s noise, heavy mathcore and all records that came across the hands of Steve Albini, should definately listen to KEN mode. I can only have respect for a band that has a discography that sounds like a musical punch to the face. I have never seen the lads live, but I am quite sure that it must be nothing short of powerful. ‘Loved’ is the perfect title for this new record, because that is exactly how I feel about it. Loved it!