Jan-Simon : Whenever you need an instrumental post rock record with original details, call Killbody Tuning from La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. They will lovingly provide quirky little jokes and double entendres not everyone will notice immediately. In their third album Pictorial this comes forward as the ultimate answer to the problem that it is hard to guess what instrumental songs are about, if they are about something in the first place of course. Killbody Tuning not only flows the songs into each other, making it more like a musical stream of consciousness, the song titles also combine into a story of itself: My mother told me not to stare into the sun / when I was 6 I did / I was terrified / You are not pure, you cannot see God unless you are pure / No, I saw everything / Our fingerprints / our DNA / our Milky Way.
Eight songs, one story and music that serves as the soundtrack to the images that are conjured up. At least, that is the idea and it must be said, it works pretty well. Instrumental post rock is not really everybody his cup of tea. Many metalheads think of it as rather boring and that is of course partly due to the boom the genre knew a couple of years ago. Following the lead from bands like Mogwai, Pelicans and Red Sparrowes, a seemingly endless flood of instrumental rock or metal records was issued and unfortunately, not everything stood the test of time. Killbody Tuning may not go the same way as numerous other bands, partly because they do not force themselves to sound just like the big boys. Instead they play with recurring themes, ever so slightly changing over time, combined with consonant guitar noises and a spacious sound that sometimes reminds of the best moments of Solstafir (of course without the Icelandic vocals). Pictorial has become a remarkable combination of riff-heavy rock, introspective guitar strumming and experimental feedback noise storms. In less than forty minutes there is a lot to take in and all of that comes in a form that reminds of an arthouse movie soundtrack. A road movie perhaps, because the music is very visual and invokes the feeling of a long train voyage with ever changing landscapes that appear in your window. And as is common with such long voyages, the landscape changes. Not abruptly, but slowly and continuously, in such a way that you get the feeling that after half an hour you are listening to a completely different record than when you started.
Compared to the previous albums, the rather strangely titled debut and its slightly more normal sounding successor Hello! Welcome, So Far the band made huge progress. No longer do these four Swiss guys try to perfect the imitation of their examples. Instead, the band has spent the past years creating an own sound and that is commendable. It is no longer easy to compare this band with others, which is of course something every band dreams of. The next step would be that other bands were compared with Killbody Tuning, but that might be asking too much at this moment. To do that, one important thing is needed, and that is a reputation. Being on a tiny record label and playing a musical genre that is over its top does not really help much for that. Nevertheless, here at Lords of Metal it is thumbs up for Killbody Tuning. Support this band, buy their records and should you for some reason find yourself in the Swiss Jura, try to find out it they play somewhere and check them out. This is a band that could use our support, because it would be a shame if this remained an obscure gem for snobs only.