by Kat Harding (@iwearaviators)
It’s easy to get lost in Kindling’s shoegaze: the reverberation swells over you, Gretchen Williams’ vocals coming in softly, and frantic guitars cast their spell. Hailing from Massachusetts, their music is warm and inviting, pushing out the cold drafts of the Northeast. Their newest record, No Generation, out on cassette on Old Flame Records, is six songs of swirling guitars, crashing drums and bass lines that swallows you whole.
Ferocious drums tear the album open on “Claims Nonexistence,” soon matched by Williams’ sweet voice, humming steadily through wailing guitars, singing “we’ve been here before/ we know that it’s not home.” The energy of this song forces you to move, the guitars fuzzing through your body. At just two minutes, it’s over far too soon. “Someday Soon” opens with hopefully strummed guitars and rolling drums, builds momentum for a minute, before all hell breaks loose and Williams’ voice raises above, a comforting and steady force guiding you through the noise. She sings “I’ll fracture/ but not break,” urging perseverance.
The third track on the album is an instrumental wash that sends distortion pulsing through your body, encouraging your heart to speed up. It’s not anxiety inducing; it’s motivating. “Fade Into” is the shortest song on the album, replete with heavy guitars and dark harmonies tearing through it. “Sunspots” whips into a frenzy; it’s impossible to stay still during this song; this is similar to their live show which promises (among other things) dancing, moshing, moving, sweating.
Closing with “Artificial Gravity,” Williams sees us out in her cool and collected way, her voice a beacon in the wild distortion and frenzied beats. She assures us “through our mistakes/ we’ll get out intact.” With your ears ringing and heart pounding from the first go-round, you should immediately start the LP over for another go.