Kayo Dot Thief


I’m really fighting the urge to label Thief as one of the most outwardly aggressive metal tunes I’ve heard in quite some time, but in a purist sense, that just wouldn’t be true. Not to mention, it would be particularly erroneous (and somewhat unfair) of me to peg a group as eclectic and eccentric as Kayo Dot as solely a “metal” band. In actuality, Thief is a tumultuous blend of psychotic death metal, ambient drone, and sublime avant-jazz -- a hodgepodge of melodic lines and aural soundscapes that reach toward something primal in feel, but not in method. Right out of the gate, Toby Driver and company come out screaming their heads off like an irate hobo on a meth binge. It’s loud and chaotic and disorienting and it doesn’t let up for about a minute or so. Without sinking into complete hyperbole, it was probably the most brutal musical minute of my life. But then, on a whim, the group completely shifts gear into a perfunctory piece of Walker-brand croon -- which might sound like an odd fit, and if it were any other band, it would be, but Kayo Dot pull it off spectacularly. I really can’t say Thief is the most comfortable listen, but if that’s what you’re looking for, than you’re missing the point entirely. It’s an immersive experience, and one that requires a bit more than a passive amount of listener participation at that, but trust me, it’s well worth the investment.

Listen to Thief here via NPR.