Kayo Dot – Hubardo

After ten years of being a band, Kayo Dot releases what might be it’s gaudiest album. However, I can’t help but be enamored with the strong playing, ambitious concept, and impressive mix of influences most of the time.

After ten years of being a band, Kayo Dot releases what might be it’s gaudiest album. However, I can’t help but be enamored with the strong playing, ambitious concept, and impressive mix of influences most of the time.

  • Ian Shepard

    There is a noticeable disparity between Driver’s noise and Byron’s lyrics. “Hubardo” reads like a pagan folk-rock album – something imagined by David Tibet, Nico or Joanna Newsom – instead of the jazz-metal freakout that Driver arranged. They don’t complement each other as naturally as they did on “Choirs of the Eye” and “Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue.” And yet it kind of works. “Hubardo” tells the story of a mad poet’s obsession with an incoming meteor. It’s a strange, hallucinatory and often fragmented narrative. One of its most climactic moments occurs when a fallen chunk of meteor blossoms into a river. In that sense, Driver’s anarchistic score matches it pretty well. The album moves at a strange pace – it almost seems to get more melodic and “settled” as the story progresses (i.e. as the poet slips further into madness and the meteor gets closer to impact) – but one way or another it works.

    It sounds like a lot of pretentious wankery when I type it out – the kind of thing Steven Wilson might have composed after overdosing
    on Frank Zappa and William Blake – and hell, maybe it is. Still, this is probably my favorite release of the year. Glad you got around to reviewing it.