Alpine Static


See Kinski live at Off Limits Saturday, July 16.

“You have to see ’em live” was the advice. I was always fearful that anything from a 10- to 30-minute space jam would dissipate the mood before the instrumental Seattle psychedelic/noise rock of Kinski had the chance to fully arrive. Live, though, the meandering is so immediate, with unique and subtle (as well as extremely unsubtle) tone and volume dynamics that move the air in ways that are hard to pick up from a studio recording. Now we have Alpine Static, the new Sub Pop release that has Kinski doing what Sonic Youth did on its seminal Daydream Nation. The experimenters have taken hours of honing sonic chops and put together a collection of focused, all-for-one noisy dynamics that is even as propulsive at times as your daddy’s rock ’n’ roll (thankfully mostly saying goodbye to the space jams). Particularly dramatic is “The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia,” which spends two minutes idling in ambient quietness before layers of looping guitar riffs promise to kick the song into motion only to be shredded to pieces by an out-of-nowhere and out-of-context spike in speaker-tearing volume courtesy of a couple of evil distorted guitars.