Kinky Machine
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Kinky Machine

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
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A little bit of Zeppelin, a little White Stripes, Austin's newest bluesman Ethan Kennedy draws many similarities to several familiar sounds, but is creating waves with his own unique approach. Kennedy's soulful tunes aren't exactly kosher when it comes to song structure and length, but he makes it work by adding several different grooves and paces within a complete song. A song like "Closer," for instance, starts out by exhausting a drum buildup, settles into a guitar-driven groove, then goes haywire (in a good way) as Kennedy contributes some Robert Plant moans and methodical riffs. Kennedy's first appeal is his voice. Both soulful and emotional, he and the band make every tune a journey of sorts into different musical realms and powerful climaxes. Kennedy shares most of the instrumental duties with drummer Aeran Shabi on the band's first full length release, Raucous. Live, the trio is rounded out by bassist Sam Calvert. Raucous delivers song after song of pure individuality, creating more than just one breath of fresh air. "Bonnie Mae's Blues & Greens" is one particular song thats instrumentally expansive, but achieves a simple enough groove that it is somewhat paradoxical. The band is just getting on their feet, but Kennedy's talent and grip on songwriting is a force not to be reckoned with. Keep your eye out for Raucous which is in stores now and be sure to catch these guys live when they hit the road. - The Concert Buzz blog


What’s so good?

Ethan Kennedy is the new Black Keys. He is better than the Black Keys. The Black Keys ruined themselves by following up a mediocre Attack+Release with an even worse Blakroc. Ethan Kennedy is so fresh that he can’t possibly ruin himself yet. He is the Black Keys to the power of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. He is intricately more interesting and far more exciting. The world needs to hear this stuff. (Note: Some of this is hyperbole. The Black Keys can’t really be upstaged – they created a niche and epitomized it. Further, the songs I’ve put up aren’t nearly as raw as the Black Keys or as reflective of their similarities).

But seriously, folks, the parallels are right there. Ethan Kennedy is a two man outfit; so are the Black Keys. They both play psychedelic blues rock like pros (though I’ll be the first to admit that the Black Keys use a shitload more distortion). They’re both as passionate as Saint Francis of Assisi was about the animals. They both kick ass. Hell, just take this song as an example:

(Link to track, "Closer" from the album "Raucous.")

Until I’d done my research, I wouldn’t have figured there were only two members to this band, with the multi-instrumentalism and layering being so diverse. But as it turns out, Ethan Kennedy and a gifted young drummer, Aeran Shabi, account for the myriad instruments heard on the album. [UPDATE: When playing live, the band has three members, with the addition of Sam Calvert on bass] - Indie Shuffle


Discography

"Enough" single released March 2011

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Bio

This is new rock and roll being made in Austin, Texas.