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Stream KEN Mode Success (Stereogum Premiere)

The title of KEN Mode’s upcoming album, Success, feels at least a little sarcastic. Even to the extent a discordant, abrasive noise/hardcore/metal band can achieve “success,” it’s of a tenuous sort. But in many ways, KEN Mode are the model of that success: The band’s two constant members — brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson (vocals/guitar… More »

By: Michael Nelson / June 9, 2015 - 10:31 am

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015

As it does every year, the month of April brought with it Record Store Day. And this year, as you might have heard, Record Store Day’s best-selling item was not a record at all, but a cassette: a lovingly detailed replica of Metallica’s 1982 demo, No Life ‘Til Leather. That was the demo that landed… More »

By: Michael Nelson / April 30, 2015 - 12:15 pm

KEN Mode – “Those Tight Jeans”

Winnipeg’s KEN Mode were never really a metal band, but on their upcoming Steve Alibi-engineered Success, they’ve shed all their former metal elements in favor of pure Touch And Go-style noise rock. We’ve already heard one single from the album, “Blessed,” and today they give us another, “Those Tight Jeans.” You can hear a lot… More »

By: Michael Nelson / April 21, 2015 - 12:06 pm

KEN Mode – “Blessed” Video

Wide-eyed Winnipeg noise-rock veterans KEN Mode rose to a new level of international prominence with 2013’s Entrench — their band name is even the substance of newspaper headline puns now — so should we view their upcoming album title Success genuinely or ironically? Given that they hired Steve Albini to engineer it, perhaps this i… More »

By: Chris DeVille / March 30, 2015 - 11:08 am

KEN mode – “The Terror Pulse” Video

Winnipeg’s KEN mode released one of our favorite metal albums of 2013 — the career highlight Entrench — which they toured the fuck out of all year long. They’re gonna spend plenty of 2014 on the road, too, including their current jaunt with Helms Alee and Russian Circles, which winds up at the end of… More »

By: Michael Nelson / March 10, 2014 - 11:48 am

The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2013

In our May Premature Evaluation of Deafheaven’s Sunbather, I compared the album to Agalloch’s 2010 LP, Marrow Of The Spirit. In my opinion, Marrow is the best metal album of the millennium (so far), the apotheosis of what had also been, I believed, the best metal year of the millennium (so far) — perhaps a… More »

By: Michael Nelson / December 10, 2013 - 10:33 am

KEN mode – “Secret Vasectomy” Video

The last video released by Winnipeg noise-metal trio KEN mode was legitimately, quite possibly, the most metal video I’ve ever seen, full of leather-clad warrior women and robed druid priests and images of Baphomet and winter landscapes. They’re following that up with a clip of … little kids brushing their teeth and drawing with crayons. More »

By: Michael Nelson / July 29, 2013 - 10:48 am

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

You know how I’ve been threatening to get weird with this column, to start including late-night performances and whatever other random bits of music-related video that might find their way on this site? This is the week the universe decided to call my bluff, since the one of the best pieces of music-related video, if… More »

By: Tom Breihan / April 5, 2013 - 12:20 pm

KEN mode – “Counter Culture Complex” Video

Winnipeg’s KEN mode have spent their Q1 basically kicking ass across North America, violently bashing their new longplayer, Entrench, into our cultural consciousness. I’ve been a fan of the band for years now; I interviewed them when they toured for their last album, 2011’s Venerable, at which point the band’s core members — brothers Jesse… More »

By: Michael Nelson / April 4, 2013 - 2:16 pm

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2013

Welcome to the Black Market, a new space at Stereogum dedicated to talking about and listening to heavy music. By “heavy music” I mean metal, mostly, although that word is vague and meaningless enough to make it useless at this point. Metal is an insular subculture made up of a zillion insular sub-subcultures — to… More »

By: Michael Nelson / February 27, 2013 - 1:32 pm

KEN Mode – “The Promises Of God” (Stereogum Premiere)

Most people respond to success by relaxing a tad. For a noise-saturated metallic hardcore band like Winnipeg’s KEN Mode, winning a Juno Award — Canada’s version of the Grammies — qualifies as success on an unimaginable scale. After beating out the likes of Anvil and Devin Townsend for the 2012 Metal/Hard Music Juno, you’d think… More »

By: Doug Moore / January 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

Haunting The Chapel’s Top 26 Metal Albums Of 2011 So Far

Before the quibbling starts: I didn’t include YOB’s Atma because it isn’t out until August. It would be way up there. I’ve also been listening to Dragged Into Sunlight’s Hatred For Mankind quite a bit, but since it has an original release date of ’09 before Prosthetic’s 2011 reissue, I didn’t include that either. O… More »

By: brandon / June 28, 2011 - 9:48 am

SXSW Friday: Featuring James Blake, Odd Future, Esben & The Witch, Jamie Woon, Mount Kimbie

Click on for some thoughts and sights from a very busy Friday in Austin. Tonight’s the last night here, so if you need some guidance please refer to our list of must-see bands, or our favorite moments from Wednesday and Thursday. And if you’re looking for a way to close out your SXSW, come to… More »

By: Amrit Singh / March 19, 2011 - 6:04 pm

32 Must See Bands @ SXSW 2011

Come March every year, the same questions are asked, retreaded thought pieces get pitched: What does it mean to have a music industry festival in the decrepit climate of 2011? Does anyone actually get discovered at SXSW? What’s the point of signing to a label? What happened to that taco truck on Red River near… More »

By: Stereogum / March 16, 2011 - 9:10 am

Stream KEN mode Venerable (Stereogum Premiere)

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… More »

By: brandon / March 8, 2011 - 10:26 am