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Peace Trials

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Album Review

The second CD from Kites aka Chris Forgues is one of the better noise efforts of recent years, thanks to Forgues' interest in fractured psychedelia of many sorts. It gives an anchor to his compositions, as readily reflected throughout the half-hour-long Peace Trials. Lengthy opening track "Flag Torn Apart" helps set the scene, where scraggly static is soon joined by a powerful, moody feedback tone mantra, providing a soothing contrast to the rest of the song (which perhaps unsurprisingly soon delves into distorted scream-singing). The conclusion of the album, the title track itself, features singing from Erin Rosenthal of Urdog in a duet with Forgues that touches on the style of acid folk — spare string-instrument plucking, a slightly antiqued feeling — while not quite sounding like a decades-old effort. In between the two tracks Forgues touches on everything from further skeletal vocal/guitar murkiness (as on the second half of "Something About America," down to the notable tape hiss) and near synth pop in a Fad Gadget/Normal sense ("Dirt") to frenetic effects overload. Perhaps because that latter approach has become so familiar more with time, it means songs like "Exploded Face" have less of the shock value they might once have possessed, but hearing how Forgues plays around with the arrangements — for all the chaos, he's clearly aiming to assemble and produce the tracks just so — makes up for it. Hearing the huge amounts of echo he creates with the massive metallic clattering on "Downward/Creepy Crawl" produces an almost meditative feeling, which not even its completely over-the-top conclusion totally destroys.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Kites is the moniker behind one-man harsh noise artist Christopher Forgues, an early adopter of the New England circuit-bending phenomenon and part of the second-generation Providence, RI, noise scene. Forgues has tailored instruments and tracks for each of his performances, so a definitive description is impossible, but his shows have often included a suit of wires, cables, and transistors that reacts to his movements and is directed toward a large amp as Forgues screams, gesticulates, or smiles...
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Peace Trials, Kites
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