Love Is An Absolute is an album by anarchistic prog-punk rock bass player The Kettle Black. If you don’t know him, let us introduce you by way of this live video…
The Kettle Black – Who The Fuck Is This Guy?
One thing you can say about this guy is he is self-reliant. If you go to his shows, historically it has just been him, his bass, and a bunch of shit that makes noise. Candles may bit lit nearby and precariously placed, and when The Kettle Black launches into a song, its some serious shit. You will either be glad you went, or you might just turn around and leave, slightly put off. It depends on his mood that night. He exudes a rather intense vibe that comes from, presumably, being a noisy-ass experimental solo musician from a city affectionately known as “The Hammer”.
The Kettle Black’s music isn’t for everyone, and it is likely that he knows this. Its very much fringe or outsider music. But, luckily for people who can appreciate this style of music, The Kettle Black doesn’t care what you think, because he’s damn well doing it anyways! Does Shellac turn down their amps when people say “Could you turn it down a bit?” Did the Shaggs dad tell his daughters to stop playing just because they couldn’t play? No. Is The Kettle Black going to straighten up and fly right? Probably not. His music can involve a lot of noise, like the sound of incessant phones rings, basses clanging, but it can also be sweet and tender. There is melody at times, but there is chaos at times. It can be soothing.. or very upsetting!
Here is another live clip, to draw you into his world a little bit more…or repel you.
As an album, Love Is An Absolute does a couple of things well – it sounds very much like his live shows. It has the same energy, almost like you’re at a live show, with slightly more production. The songs can be fast, frantic, and jackhammer-like, but they also can be slow, folky, and forlorn.
When its fast – as with the opening track “All Aboard” – it’s like giving a rabbit a carrot that has been laced with speed and watching it try to have sex with a bunch of other rabbits. Say what? Inappropriate? Maybe. Enjoyable? Hard to say. Its sure something. But, The Kettle Black’s music isn’t always fast, as we said. Many songs are slow and hushed as well, and feature violins and cellos.
The other thing he’s good at is weaving an authentic story with his lyrics, and making you feel sort of…sad. Many of his songs are indeed very shanty-like, with guitar lines that sound like old folk ballads from days of yore – as if we’re listening to an old bard or ex-sailor tell his tale from before the world broke. The lyrics go along with this, evoking a sense of dislocation and isolation from – everything? Maybe we’re reading too much into this.
In any case, if you like punk rock music, experimental music, diverse music, check out this album. It doesn’t compromise, and if you ever see his name on some dilapidated marquee at some club, you might want to just go inside and find yourself a shadowy corner to stand in. The Kettle Black puts on a very engaging live show, which is not to be missed!
Check out the album here on The Kettle Black’s official website.