For all their monolithic beats and emotionally complex lyrics, KINS have a wicked sense of humor. The band got its start in Australia and released its debut EP in 2011, which was given the amazing title Dancing Back And Forth Covered In Whipped Cream. After moving to Brighton, England, the quartet soaked up the coastal air and crafted their self-titled debut, releasing it to building acclaim last summer. Comparisons have been drawn to Radiohead and Alt-J, but neither of them have released an album cover as bizarrely hilarious as this.
It’s this kind of dichotomy that makes KINS an interesting band, and one to keep your eye on going forward. Their not-so-secret weapon is their rhythm section: drummer Alex Knight is a force to behold, and Rob Walters adds thick swaths of bass to the sound. Frontman Thomas Savage has a sweet, ethereal quality to both his guitar playing and his voice, while Queline Smith underpins it all with a bed of synthesizers. It all adds up to a potent combination. Album standout “Aimless” is anything but aimless, shifting effortlessly from wall-of-sound explosions into atmospheric explorations. Lots of bands–past and present–try this style; KINS is one of the few that succeeds.
Catch KINS at SXSW 2014:
Wednesday, Mar 12: Red 7, 3:10pm
Wednesday, Mar 12: Haven, 9:00-9:40pm (official showcase)
Thursday, Mar 13: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, 7:00am
Friday, Mar 14: Palm Park, 2:30-3:15pm
Saturday, Mar 15: Latitude 30