KEN mode - Venerable

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:










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:

Profound Lore Showcase SXSW 2011

KEN mode:

KEN mode Promo Photo 2011

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Comments (7)
  1. That SXSW line-up is, to quote Charlie Sheen, “Winning. Duh.” I wish I could make it down there, myself.

  2. Fuck yeah! That first song alone… man, that sounds like some sweet Kittens. Kittens if they were able to still be around and be really pissed off. So excited for this record. Too bad even as Canadians they can’t seem to get their asses as far as the East Coast of Canada… lame.

  3. Honestly, if Kurt Ballou produced it, there’s a good bet it’s good.

  4. fuck yeah kitten-esque!

  5. This is simply fantastic. “Fuck yeah”, indeed.

  6. 4/18 Detroit, MI – 2 Way Inn, 17897 Mount Elliott Street, Detroit, MI 48212. http://www.oldestbarindetroit.com

  7. great stuff

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