Toronto – Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa have been around for a decade now and have acquired a faithful following during that time, but are just now beginning to garner much more attention for their brand of psychedelic sludge metal. Their most recent album, Spiral Shadow, made it onto several best of 2010 lists (including Pitchfork, Exclaim, Decibel and my own personal list) and with good reason – it’s easily their most creative and accessible album, blending in a greater amount of melody while still maintaining a level of ferocity in their music.
As the band set up onstage, I took note of the array of instruments onstage – two drumkits, some auxiliary drums on either side of the stage, a couple keyboards and a theremin. This was a good sign of things to come.
Sonically, the band ran the gamut from moody, spacey psychedelic passages to full on metallic pummelling, all of it held together by the dual drumming of Carl McGinley and Tyler Newberry who definitely impressed with their intricate, interlocking rhythms. Their drumming was occasionally augmented by singer/guitarist Philip Cope and bassist Corey Barhorst (who, according to Brent, has the look of a Kings Of Leon roadie). Also impressive was guitarist Laura Pleasants, who displayed her virtuosity while also showing off her vocal range. Cope kept the stage banter to a minimum, but since they had a 10 pm curfew, perhaps they wanted to fit in as much music as possible. i can’t say that I blame them. Usually, if I’ve listened to a very loud band for about an hour, I’ve had enough, but I dare say they left me wanting a bit more.