Kairon; IRSE! – RuinationTrue originality can be an elusive commodity to come by in the modern music environment. With the number of untapped creative avenues steadily decreasing with every new album release, many musicians merely end up putting their own spins on pre-established formulas. When a band comes along that laughs defiantly in the face of such convention—opting instead to carve out their own path—it’s only right they’re accorded the recognition they deserve. Finnish progsters Kairon; IRSE! are a band who embrace this mentality emphatically. And no, before you ask, I didn’t just sneeze and hit the punctuation keys by mistake; that’s just how they like their name to be written. Ordinarily I would repudiate this as pretentious guff and refuse to play ball, but since I have no moral qualms about whoring out my grammatical practices in exchange for quality music, for the sake of a band as outrageously impressive as K;I!, I’m willing to suppress my inner Grammar Nazi and get on board.

Produced by Oranssi Pazuzu frontman Juho Vanhanen, Ruination is Kairon; IRSE!’s third full-length LP. Despite having written some damned impressive material over the past six years or so, however, in terms of support, this oddball Finnish four-piece have never amassed much more than a small cult following. For a band who write music of such complexity and magnitude, it seems almost criminally unjust that they’ve not received more recognition in the time they’ve been active; the quality of their work eclipses that of many of their better-known and lauded musical peers.

Stylistically, Kairon; IRSE! have always been something of a fusion of space rock and shoegaze, however, Ruination heralds a quirkier, more prog rock-like era for the band. Built around catchy hooks and delicate melodies, the record ebbs, and flows, taking the listener on a cosmic journey. The word “experimental” is often chucked about casually nowadays—in many cases, anything that doesn’t follow a rigid verse-chorus-verse structure seems to qualify as such—but in the case of K;I! it’s entirely appropriate; they are true musical innovators. Drawing influences from almost every conceivable point on the rock spectrum, Ruination sounds like Jethro Tull smashed a fat tab of acid and went wild with a fuzz pedal. Jaunty jazz fusion basslines underpin exquisite vocal harmonies, and the listener is invited to get drunk on a seemingly infinite supply of hypnotic, dreamlike melodies. It’s outlandish, completely left-field and utterly captivating.

Kairon; IRSE! 2017
Besides its nearly flawless execution, a large part of what makes Ruination so enthralling is the manner in which the band melds immersive atmospherics with out-and-out catchiness. Despite clocking in at a combined 26 minutes in length, openers “Sinister Waters” parts I and II, for example, feature plenty to keep audiences with even the shortest of attention spans fully engaged and entertained. As the album progresses, however, new layers brim to the surface and shape the listening experience. Prog has something of a reputation for requiring concerted effort to digest. Be it through the Yo La Tengo-esque noodling of “Llullaillaco” or the stomping bass-driven intro to “Starik,” however—something that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Queens of the Stone Age record—Kairon; Irse! stay true to the ethos of the genre, while still managing to write music you’ll find yourself humming as you do the weekly grocery shop. It’s a fine balance to strike, but one they’ve nailed.

In all honesty, it’s pretty tough to find much drastically wrong with Kairon; IRSE!’s latest work. At times I felt as though the sound would have benefited from a little more depth, and on a purely personal level, I admit to slightly preferring the somewhat less polished feel of its predecessor, Ujubasajuba, but that’s pretty much the sum total of the criticism I can level here. If you love prog, listen to Ruination. If you don’t love prog, still listen to Ruination and it might just turn you. It’s an unforgivable travesty that this eccentric quartet is as little-known as they are, and if there’s any justice in the world then this ought to be the record that garners them the recognition they so earnestly deserve. Grammar, be damned, Kairon; IRSE! mean business.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Svart Records
Website: kaironirse.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/kaironirse
Releases Worldwide: February 3rd, 2017

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  • GardensTale

    Gonna give this a good listen tomorrow, dropping all the right names for me here!

    • Diego Molero

      Including Yo La Tengo? They are supposed to be pretty good, my sister once recommend them to me but I forgot to listen to them. I search them up today and found out they have like a bazillion albums, so… Any recommendations on where to start?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Recommendations? sorry, but No La Tengo!

        • Diego Molero

          What a terrible joke, Juan jajajajaj.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Made you laugh, can’t be that bad…
            How’s it been? did you get a new phone yet?

          • Diego Molero

            True, true.
            Nah, man. It’s gonna take a while probably. Yesterday I was at a mall and I looked at the price on a bunch of phones, is insane. The cheapest one costs 80000, and is the shittiest phone you can imagine, I think the screen wasn’t even in color. And I don’t have that kind of money anyway. Other than that, all good, you?

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I took a look at cell phones a few days ago and the cheapest one I saw was about 75000. A little piece of crap. All good around here, hope you can get a new phone soon. Did you at least go and get a new chip with your old phone number so you can keep the same number?

          • Diego Molero

            Nope, the number is on someone else’s name, and the person who bought it for me doesn’t live here anymore, so I’m screw.
            You should look me on FB if you still use that, is what I’m using on the meanwhile to be in communication. Is the same as on Disqus, Diego Molero.

      • Lord Lucan

        ‘Painful’ was the record that turned me onto them and I’ve never looked back. Either that or ‘I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One’ would be a good start point.

      • GardensTale

        Looking back it was really just QOTSA and Jethro Tull, which is an interesting combination all the same. I haven’t hear Yo La Tengo.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    No bandcamp for me, but the score, plus genre being progressive/shoegazing (OK, Finnish doesn’t hurt either) is REALLY intriguing to me. Listened to a good chunk of their last album (title is something like “Ujakawilooloo” or something), which was also really good. High expectations for this one. Probably order it when the CD is released at the start of March.

  • herrschobel

    i am in for a treat !

  • Love that artwork!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Awesome artwork!

  • Name’s Dalton

    A Yo La Tengo reference in AMG review. Never thought I’d live to see the day.

    • Lord Lucan

      ‘Painful’ is an all-time favorite of mine. Great music is great music no matter what bracket it falls into.

  • Thatguy

    The cheesy synth intro almost lost me entirely, then a pastiche of King Crimson and Yes. Hmm, sounds like reProg to me. It’s well played, but I’ve heard it before.

    • Felchmeister777

      Exactly. I got myself hyped for that too. Perfectly decent, but not worthy of the write up. Especially as ‘originality’ was stressed so much…

      • Lord Lucan

        The talk of originality is in reference to the album as a whole, not just the embedded track. Each one is quite drastically different from the next.

  • Dagoth_RAC

    I have highlighted the Rorschach Unicorn in the promo pic:


  • sir_c

    Irse, ain’t that “rise” written by a dyslectic?

    • Thatguy

      Or a Kiwi saying arse…

  • WIRED_Metal

    Yes, please. Definitely intrigued by that embedded track…

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I hear a more than a little Haken here.

  • PS-RagE

    Kinda reminds me of a heavier version of Anekdoten

  • michael rodrigues

    first band with a semi colon in their name?

  • Andrew Gleeson

    Only really given the embedded track a listen, and it’s quite the ear-worm. The quieter sections remind me of Grizzly Bear.