With ‘Hiding In The Light’, Kimono Kult have released an EP that is so left of centre that it matches the ‘extremist’ views of your traditionally spelt ‘cults’. The newly-formed group sees impossibly prolific artists John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Omar Rodriguez Lopez (At The Drive In, The Mars Volta) team up again to push musical boundaries. They have some help this time around, from Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), Nicole Turley (WEAVE!, Swahili Blonde), Laena Geronimo (Raw Geronimo) and Dante White (Dante Vs. Zombies, Starlite Desperation).
Definitely tending towards the more-experimental side of both famous rockers’ catalogues, ‘Hiding In The Light’ is an EP for fans of Rodriguez-Lopez’s more experimental work. At its best there are moments reminiscent of 2012’s ‘Octopus Kool Aid’ but at its worst it’s an underwhelming cacophony of noise that lacks structure or purpose.
Album opener ‘Todos Menos el Dolor’ showcases Gender Bender’s captivating vocals, capturing the intensity of her live shows well. She is the standout performer on this track but also on much of the album. Early on in the track though it becomes clear that the rest of the group lacks direction. Frequently sounding like a child has been let loose on the keyboard, there is a dissonance that detracts from Gender Bender’s work.
From here it’s downhill rapidly as the group falls into a cycle of navel-gazing that’s bland and lacking direction. Fortunately they lift their heads up in time for ‘La Cancion de Alejandra’, where they manage to prove their combined efforts can be rewarding. Underpinned by Turley’s regimented drum machines and accentuating guitars, this is the perfect backdrop for Gender Bender’s impassioned vocal delivery.
‘Hiding In The Light’ is not without redeeming moments: ‘Las Esposas’ makes strong use of its electro backing; the Spanish lyrics flow beautifully and as you would expect, perfectly complement Gender Bender’s voice; and Nicole Turley’s work to keep the whole project on track cannot be overstated as without her this would surely have been a total cluster fuck. Unfortunately it has to be said that Rodriguez-Lopez and Frusciante’s presence on the record is largely forgettable and at times even frustratingly off-putting. With ‘La Cancion de Alejandra’, Kimono Kult prove they are capable of working together to create something spectacular. It’s just a pity the rest of the EP doesn’t come close.