Kazyak embarks on a musical Odyssey

Rollicking strings saturated in pristine white fuzz adorn the opening bars of “Discover,” but as we’ll soon discover, their measured strut is but one of the sensuous ingredients that Kazyak will employ in the sonic stew that this engrossing composition is. A powerful vocal harmony soars into the heavens from which it came in the climactic chorus, and believe it or not, its staggered catharsis is only a drop in the bucket compared to what some of the other tracks on Odyssey, Kazyak’s latest album, contain. Take the chilling “Zombie Dream” for example – out of the ashes of a melancholic intro, the band somehow fills in the ominous framework created by the background synths with a post-punk melody that is downright optimistic, and possibly one of the most endearing of any that this group has put onto an LP. “Zombie Dream” is a supersized slice of aural divinity, but it has to be in order to fill the void that the grimy swing of “Camouflage” leaves behind. The two tracks spill into each other with incredible seamlessness, but to be truthful, the same can be said for the flow of everything we hear on Odyssey.

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“Smoke Jumper” has got the most formulaic construction of any composition on this album, but don’t let its black and white lines fool you; within this track lies an almost ambient pendulousness to the riffing that will inevitably hypnotize anyone who comes within earshot of its harmonies. There’s a similar hue to “Be the Sun,” although I wouldn’t categorize this song as being nearly as organized as the former is. “Be the Sun” is a freeform anthology track that allows for us to witness the devolution of a rock song into pure, melodically-filtered noise. It’s a breathtaking piece, perhaps the most enigmatic and yet cuttingly emotional track on the LP, and one that I would deem among the best to ever bear the Kazyak moniker. It is worth pointing out that the song is significantly enriched by its formidably harmonious introduction, provided by the two-minute “Rocket,” and really all of the content that comes before it in this tracklist.

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One of Odyssey’s first act gems is definitely the angsty “Paper Bird,” which along with “Contravertical,” introduces us to a hollow reverberation that will become a critical component of the music we hear later on in the album. Every song on this record reveals yet another layer of Kazyak’s artistry to us, and while there’s really no such thing as a perfect LP, this latest release from the critically acclaimed psychedelic rock quartet is about as good as it gets in 2019. These guys are using everything at their disposal, whether it be the instruments, their creative moxie or even the studio itself, to turn out some of the most ethereal melodies that I’ve heard in the last few years, and I would even go as far as to say that of all their records, this is by far the most impactful that they’ve released since initially forming some years ago.

Kim Muncie

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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