Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Assembly is a chaotic introduction to KEG’s eclectic post-punk



Release date: 22 October 2021
KEG Assembly EP artwork 2
20 October 2021, 07:23 Written by Ben Lynch
A classically-trained drummer, a guitarist with a love of hip-hop, and another with a penchant for soulful ballads; it comes as little surprise that the varying parts of Brighton-based KEG are somewhat divergent in their influences.

A seven-piece formed around a nucleus of three friends who grew up in the same Yorkshire town, the band operate on a simple if fairly hectic premise; express as wide-a-range of styles and manic energy as possible within fairly constrained timeframes. While the influence of a band like Black Country, New Road is obvious, their love of wandering compositions is absent here, with the longest track and only four and a half minutes. Patiently indulgent, KEG are not.

Sitting instead closer to Squid’s agitated hooks, KEG’s debut EP, Assembly, is a furtive amalgamation of post-punk, jazz, math-rock, and almost any other parallel genre they could find time for. Opener “Presidential Walk” has a serious Silverbacks vibe, a restless display of jabbing guitars and vocalist Albert Haddeham’s barked telling of the wanderings of a French President. “Heyshaw” and “Breaking Rocks” have a particularly Squid-esque element to them, with killer grooves and a taught, semi-contained sense of frustration to them, occasionally spilling over but largely withheld within the track’s tight rhythm.

As with much of the music here, there’s a consistent threat of everything falling apart, either due to a violent shift change or Haddenham’s vocals progressing through the decibels, but it rarely does. Like their aforementioned contemporaries, KEG are well adept at tucking everything in and keeping a controlling grip on their compositions, even when things do get a little chaotic.

When the band do attempt to break away into something less lurching, the results aren’t especially favourable. As opposed to the wrenching energy of the majority of Assembly, closer “Kilham” opts for something less kinetic, with longer, The Cribs-esque singalong sections. Unfortunately, the result is instead bland and characterless, something you certainly couldn’t accuse KEG of otherwise.

Whether it’s their shifting of styles from post-rock to synth (normally within the same song) or the apparent contradiction of their deeply personal lyrics and whimsically eccentric music, KEG’s appeal lies in their ability to confound. A quickshot intro into their writhing world of flailing rhythms and jabbing guitar lines, Assembly is an introduction which, while unlikely to convert the masses just yet, should amp up the excitement in their distinctly eclectic style.

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