ALBUM REVIEW: Red Kite – ‘Racquet’

Red Kite explore nostalgia and fantasy in second album, Racquet, recalling memory and activating sensations, as they ignite fires and let tears roll. Their journeying sound crafts a trip of trial and trouble, but one to be looked back on with nonchalant over-the-shoulder smiles and smirks. The London quintet colour the innocence of childhood thoughts, as dream and reality are twisted into a Gaussian blur of fuzz and feeling.

From the reactive cracks of ‘if we buy a train set’ and ‘manny calavera’ to the reflective clouding of ‘kite and crow,’ Racquet has a temperamental character. Frequented by pressurising tension and brain-carving ostinato, the album cuts deep and leaves a scar with its physical fizz, yet distant call, undoubtedly demanding a number of explorations to unearth its jewels; Red Kite paint with rare colours.

Opening up, Red Kite summon firm percussive foundations, repeating their repetitive edge of six-string phrase demands and tribe-sent tom patterns with first track, ‘let go the line’. The song maintains a solid upbeat build throughout, travelling in sedentary comfort as we find ourselves transported into the sonic vehicle exciting the album, picked up and deposited too far away to know (Canada probably).

take care of your own’ is a rehabilitative sequel to the energetic influence of its predecessor. Red Kite hereby considerately plot ink on a canvas before pouring out the paint buckets, typically juxtaposing a twee chill verse with overblown chorus thunder. It’s the first taste of wound, pencilling in the prospective punches of tracks to come.

Racquet lead single, ‘and yet you miss the sea’ is a continued fusion of solid stick simplicity and shoegazed guitar-riff layering to sweeten the scene. The storytelling vocals rekindle childhood tales and games, as innocence is embraced in playful seaside pictures and rainbowing guitars.

the federal government’ is little more than a quirky excursion from the album’s angsted aesthetic, however chiefly compliments the organic atmosphere of ‘kite and crow,’ striking chords of regret and chokes of remorse in its pretty thrift.

But ‘if we buy a train set’ simply cannot be caught, as it surges through your every fibre in adolescent chase of childhood heart. ‘We don’t belong here’ they restate repeatedly, as growing growls manifest a mountain peak, bludgeoning a stomach-kicked riff into your shiver and shake, mocking you with breathing space before resuming the beat-up job.

Dazed and woozy, Racquet reduces its speed to a sway away from a broken body left by the train, as ‘black freighter’ shuffles about to lusting drums and bass riffs – it’s about as satisfying as it can get. Until cult-wave chants beckon the mad scientist back with criminal string strokes to reinstate the haemorrhage fuzz of tracks gone by.

Red Kite trigger side-step jumps throughout the work, tricking grit into pop sensibility, especially on track, ‘point of light’. The indie-electro track plays to a deadline, distorting a somewhat theatrical interlude to the incessant infections of Racquet’s crunching rock, yet now flavoured into an indigo pop illusion.

manny calavera’ is an ambient reminder of innate American influence, burning the indie rule book with a further blast of fuse-blown riff rock and checking that the noughties taste nasty enough on their way back up. Through clever titling, Red Kite resurrect a Grim Fandango film noir trip through the Eight Underworld, a disco for the dead, reminiscent of Antemasque.

facades’ heralds the burning of the pixels, twisting and crunching the animated Racquet dream into a destabilised decay of cinematic distortion and buzz. Red Kite reinitialise their ostinato imaginations with ‘facades,’ probably granting listeners the sensation of what it feels like to be a time machine, as it whirrs and churns along its path, itching and scratching at digital flea bites and termites. ‘facades’ all but concludes the album with the perfect collision of simplicity and impossibility, as repetition begs to differ that I think I’ve lost my headache.

Racquet is a sonic collage of image and phrase, taking indie rock fundamentals and translating them at twist. Nostalgic undercurrents stay cosy throughout, catching us glimpse back at childhood hooks. Red Kite tense up a collection of colours, engaging listeners in a constant to and fro of fizz and pop, before taking us home with ‘aen,’ all done with fun, and lost in our heads.

Red Kite’s new album ‘Racquet’ is out now via Blood Records.

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