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Kinesis - Handshakes for Bullets


Review: Jack Foley

BBC Manchester reckon that this is the sound that teenagers should be making, that of raging against the establishment, of conveying frustrated emotions and, to a lesser extent, of slamming bedroom doors.

Certainly, the rage is present, from the name of the album itself, to the fury contained within the guitars, right down to the names of the tracks themselves - with the likes of Bloodstained Lips and This Dead End leading the way towards an inevitablt downbeat finale, in Generation Devoid of Inspiration.

Kinesis have been compared to early Manic Street Preachers, and they are certainly just as political.

They claim to be on '..a mission to destroy George W. Bush' and were the star attraction at a government-sponsored concert to showcase the British music industry, in New York, towards the end of 2003.

The album itself is described as 'a strident mission statement from four young men who believe that music can change opinions, motivate dissent and be the most important thing in your life'.

Hence, it comes as little surprise to find several blatant attacks on US politics and culture, a ploy which prompted Kerrang! to hail it as 'a fearsomely effective cocktail of rage and poise'.

I'm not so sure about the poise. The rage is ever-present, but while the odd guitar rift hints at a little more poise, the eagerness of youth seems to dictate that the drums come crashing in at some stage.

Handshakes for Bullets is an eye-opening debut, but it's not necessarily the brilliant album it's cracked up to be.

Highlights include former single, Forever Reeling, which tackles the theme of euthanasia in a far more lowkey, restrained approach, and (Cling) To Your Innocence, which, by their own admission, is the melodic one.

But all too often the album threatens to unravel amid a furious onslaught of guitars and scorched vocals, never more so than in power tracks, Average American Corpse and Generation Devoid of Inspiration which, according to the band, is the 'heaviest thing' they've done.

It's here that the 'punk' label appears justified, and when they sound just like some of the angry young American bands they are no doubt trying to escape from.

Handshakes for Bullets does enough to warrant listening out for Kinesis in the future, if only to see how they mature over the years. The future certainly looks bright.

Track listing:
1. One Way Mirror
2. Billboard Beauty
3. Civillised Fury
4. Bloodstained Lips
5. This Dead End
6. Conveyor Belt Destruction
7. And They Obey
8. (Cling To Your) Innocence
9. Forever Reeling
10. Average American Corpse
11. Everything Destroys Itself
12. Generation Devoid Of Inspiration

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