The magic that Kylesa mainstays Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants continually bring to the table is so apparent on their latest, Ultraviolet. With Ultraviolet, Pleasants and Cope are finally off into the stratosphere and making the music that Kylesa is supposed to make: brooding, heavy, and unequivocally different from their peers. On their latest, the Georgian rockers are out of the sludge as Pleasants takes center stage and Cope takes a step back vocally.
From the opening slammer “Exhale” it seems as if everything is normal in Kylesa-world and that is where you’d be wrong because “Unspoken” which follows is straight outta left field. Bordering on goth-rock with Cope’s ominous vocal harmonies, “Unspoken” is a new feat for Kylesa and a sonic masterpiece as Pleasants’ clean singing represents the next evolution for the Savannah natives. “Grounded” changes the mood even more with its C.O.C.-style boogie keeping listeners on their toes.
“We’re Taking This” is a straight sonic onslaught of aggression as Pleasants and Cope trade barbs while Kylesa’s dueling drummers (Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez) absolutely pummel the soundscape. Later on, bassist Chase Rudeseal serves up a hypnotic drone during the Pleasants-led “Long Gone” keeping listeners on edge with their ever expanding sound.
The expansion continues with songs like “Steady Breakdown” which could fit on a Heart album except for the otherworldly breakdown at the end or the atmospheric punk rawk ditty “What Does It Take”. Then there’s “Quicksand” which is another beast entirely with some of the most fierce riffage Kylesa has ever laid down and saxophones. Yes, saxophones. And that’s the appeal of Kylesa and especially Ultraviolet: You never know what you’ll get next.
Ultraviolet is available on May 28th through Season Of Mist. Pick up your copy here.