Kalllidad – Flamingo (2018)

With one record a year, we can fear a quality loss of the growing KALLIDAD‘s discography, Australian trio of Mariachi Metal or Thrash Flamenco as they designate themselves. And yet … if originality, boldness or avant-garde should have a common reference, so Señor Bang Bang, The Raven and Jacinko have created what would best represent this definition. A group totally out of any classification which makes them a full-blown formation on its own, an amazing singularity.

The band has a tremendous energy and it comes out from every note. Although The Odyssey had a different but interesting approach, the record appeared to be much more atmospheric but extremely rich in its musical interpretation where Mariachi, Flamenco, Blues and many other genres switching between them in a more traditional willingness. The Australians have proved that they can play any genre: it is mastered. With Flamingo, we rather have a « back to the roots » approach of their first compositions, with this nervous and dynamic music, typical of what KALLIDAD had accustomed us until then.

It will just take a few seconds to convince us. The Beast is everything an opening title can dream of: catchy, frenetic, but captivating above all! A song in perpetual crescendo that never ceases to surprise us, tickling our desire to move, inviting us to join the group on stage and leveraging all the available energy. When finally explodes the main rhythm it is with surprise that we realize that the foot, the head, if not the whole body is already in movement and in step with the music.

So, after a first track that sets the bar as high, what about the rest of the album? Where the three amigos hit hard, it is that each song has its little extra that makes it inevitably retained.

On one hand we find titles just as feisty as Paulo Di Gorgio in particular, which is surely more traditional in the Mariachi culture but does not drop for all that in intensity; whilst a little more subtle than its bestial precursor, it allows itself a few some peaceful moments. In the same vein there is Casa Mañana which is a real mariachi-esque eargasm among the drawn atmosphere and the skills revealed by the trio. As if that were not enough, the song is divided into two parts where after the strings explosion of the first one, we enjoy a progressive crescendo increasingly fiery with a melody repeated over and over and more and more quickly, with some subtle nuances but nevertheless perceptible so as not to fall into a boring loop. We will highlight the rhythmic duet which remains in harmony throughout the title, under a perfect mastery of their instrument but mainly on an unprecedented synergy above all.

On the other hand, they are more aerial times like in The Sludge which sinks into a much more Bluesy vibe. The atmosphere is more tempered and led by a predominant lead guitar in the manner of Luminate, more Rock influenced. The Showdown is, for its part, anchored in a Western theme noticeable as from the first notes then reinforced by trumpets. A title that is similar to Señorita Margarita from the previous opus.

Other songs are a little bit more experimental – not to displease – each one with its own approach. Krokodil blurts the guitars in which notes seem to flee but are caught at the last moment and brought back on the instrument, causing this bouncing melody. Similarly, Flamingo may sound improvisatory in style but is in fact totally mastered, which gives this unstructured and totally funky feeling; the use of singing only intensify this experience. It’s mostly Noosaville that can seems very quiet and just as disturbing compared to the rest of the album. However, there is this little melody that will keep ringing in the head all day and will rise up anytime being moreish. The gradual addition of the violin and then percussions will not help much and will make of this song one of the most outstanding with The Beast.

It will be on the sound of a train going away – symbol of the group’s conquest to new concerts maybe – that Flamingo ends. Through this pink feathered Cerberus, the trio has varied rhythms and references without ever losing that singular vigor in which surprises come and go in a constant fluidity. KALLIDAD remains definitively a band to discover on stage though, in order to take full advantage of this communicative energy; an already rare perception in live so what about, then, when it is felt on a studio album? In a nutshell, the Australians have marked here with Flamingo a memorable record.

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