Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By KRISTIN DiCARA-McCLELLAN
KG Freeze is the next euphonic incarnation of Kyle Gervais, who has proved his musical integrity over the years by moving (seemingly) effortlessly from one band to the next, most notably as frontman for the local bands Cosades and Grand Hotel. He now stands on solid, firm ground, braced in his own musical identity to keep him cohesively relevant, yet separate of too many comparisons to the linkage of his past.
"SOCIOPATH" CD-RELEASE PARTY
WHERE: Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $6; 21-plus
WHAT ELSE: Eagle Chief (formerly Arboles Libres) and Kristina Kentigian will also perform.
INFO: 772-8274; portlandasylum.com
HOW IT RATES
KG FREEZE -- "SOCIOPATH"
PRODUCED BY: Kyle Gervais
and Dominic Lavoie
Based on a four-star scale
Gervais' new album, "Sociopath," is heavy on the keys with catchy melodic waves weaving in and out of snappy drum licks, groovy vocals layered with harmonies, and savvy guitar and bass lines. Gervais plays every instrument himself with the exception of drums, which are played by Derek Gierhan.
The title track starts things off by exposing the essence of what's to come. Yet while it lays the groundwork for the CD, it's probably one of the most easily digested tracks in the sense that it has more of a "feel" than a song structure. The keys and bass work hand in hand back and forth, letting the listener get lulled in. The guitar builds in spots with a change in melody -- not quite a chorus, but a shift of sorts. The song fades out, leaving the listener with something to hang onto. There's not a tangible chorus to sink you teeth into, but an air of loosely crafted riffs and beats that resonate.
While listening to "Sociopath," there were times that I felt I was walking through a chic Tokyo nightclub. Like in the soundtrack of the movie "Lost in Translation," there was a theme for each song linked together by the heart of it, yet each song was unique. It has that feeling of impending guides and drones, which makes for a good drama.
Still, the fuzzy outline of the ghost of a band that has passed on can still be recognized, as Gervais tries to free himself of the shackles of being pinholed too easily. But he can't quite escape, mostly because his mellifluous spirit is permanently sealed in the songs and souls of his past projects.
And that is not a bad thing. It proves he has a grounded quintessence, yet an innovative and experimental mind.
Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a freelance writer.