Haunting The Chapel

Stream KEN mode Venerable (Stereogum Premiere)

brandon | March 8, 2011 - 10:26 am

Veteran Winnipeg noise-rock trio KEN mode’s Kurt Ballou-produced fourth album Venerable is one of the best records of 2011, bar none. (It’s also their best record since forming in 1999.) The brothers vocalist/guitarist Jesse and drummer Shane Matthewson are joined by (another) new bassist Thérèse Lanz on this one — and everything clicks. From opener “Book Of Muscle” to closer “Make Shark,” KEN mode mix AmRep toughness with heavy, doom-y melodies and angular, chiseled hardcore that pummels as well as it sticks easily, comfortably in your head. It’s worth knowing the Matthewson brothers are both accountants  — they’re good with numbers. That, and frontman Jesse’s in a Muay Thai fighting training regimen — there’s a ripped, well-honed stamina here. As Jesse says in a press release, “A lot of bands are obsessed with a life of excess, we prefer to eat Thai food and discuss the latest scientific breakthroughs.” Think David Yow doing crunches, Unsane with more swing, a dirtier Helmet, a younger/hungrier (and Canadian) Today Is The Day. According to my iTunes I’ve listened to Venerable more than anything else this year. See what you think:

KEN mode – “Book Of Muscle”
KEN mode – “Obeying The Iron Will”
KEN mode – “Batholith”
KEN mode – “The Irate Jumbuck”
KEN mode – “A Wicked Pike”
KEN mode – “Flight Of The Echo Hawk”
KEN mode – “Never Was”
KEN mode – “The Ugliest Happy You’ve Ever Seen”
KEN mode – “Terrify The Animals”
KEN mode – “Mako Shark”

Venerable is out 3/15 via Profound Lore. You can download earlier albums Mennonite and Reprisal at ken-mode.com. If you plan to be in Austin, make sure to check them out at SXSW. They’re hitting a number of cities before and after that, too.

03/11 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Latitude 44
03/12 – Denver, CO @ Blast-O-Mat
03/14 – Dallas, TX @ TBA
03/15 – San Antonio, TX @ The 1011
03/16 – Austin, TX @ Emos (Brooklyn Vegan Day Show)
03/16 – Austin, TX @ Scoot’s Inn (Thrasher Death Match Show)
03/18 – Austin, TX @ Lovejoy’s (Brooklyn Vegan/1000 Knives Day Party)
03/19 – Austin, TX @ Valhalla (Profound Lore Showcase)
03/20 – Kansas City, MO @ Scion Lab
03/21 – Champaign IL @ Dan Aykroyd’s House
03/22 – Windsor, ON @ Coah & Horses
03/23 – Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
03/24 – Toronto, ON @ the Garrison
03/25 – Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
03/26 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Scanner
03/27 – Montreal, QC @ Katacombes
03/28 – Sherbrooke, QC @ Bar Le Magog
03/29 – Burlington, VT @ 242 Main %
03/30 – Boston, MA @ O’Brians Pub %
03/31 – Syracuse, NY @ TBA %
04/01 – Long Island, NY @ Ethical Humanist Society
04/02 – NYC, NY @ Webster Hall !!
04/03 – Brick, NJ @ Bricktown Moose Lodge !!
04/04 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter !!
04/05 – Greensboro, NC @ TBA ^
04/06 – Savannah, GA @TBA ^
04/07 – Gainesville, FL @ TBA ^
04/08 – Tampa, FL @ Transitions Art Gallery ^
04/09 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub ^
04/10 – Tallahassee, FL @ The Farside ^
04/11 – Hattiesburg, MS @ TBA ((
04/12 – Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse ((
04/13 – Atlanta, GA @ TBA ((
04/14 – Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia ((
04/15 – Akron, OH @ TBA ((
04/16 – Rochester, NY @ Monty’s Krown
04/17 – Columbus, OH @ TBA
04/18 – Detroit, MI @ TBA ((
04/19 – Buffalo, NY @ The Funeral Home #
04/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Melody Inn #
04/22 – Chicago, IL @ the Mutiny #
04/23 – Minneapolis, MN @ TBA (venue change) #
04/24 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium #
04/26 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder #
04/27 – Portland, OR @ Rotture #
04/28 – Seattle, WA @ The Comet #
04/29 – Victoria, BC @ Logan’s Pub #
04/30 – Vancouver, BC @ Funky Winkerbean’s #
05/01 – Kamloops, BC @ Pogue Mahone #
05/02 – Edmonton, AB @ Filthy McNasty’s #
05/03 – Calgary, AB @ the New Black (all-ages) and Dickens Pub (18+) #
05/04 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos #
05/05 – Prince Albert, SK @ PA Arts Center #
05/06 – Regina, SK @ O’Hanlon’s Pub #
05/07 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Royal Albert (Hometown Record Release) $

% w/Engineer
!! w/Black Breath
^ w/Khann
(( w/Ganon
# w/Fuck the Facts
$ w/Fuck the Facts & Withdrawal

The flyer for the Profound Lore SXSW showcase:

KEN mode:

KEN mode Promo Photo 2011

Tags: KEN mode
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