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"KENIN "Just Another Blast" Holster"

KENIN "Just Another Blast" Holster
Friday, April 22, 2005; Page WE06

Though its title might suggest otherwise, the debut CD by Kenin, the Maryland-based, Duke University-bred rock band, isn't just another boisterous jam band romp. Not even close.

In fact, the song that inspired the album's name is saved for last and offers an ironic postscript about war and its sadly predictable consequences. Of course, "New Vietnam," a much earlier sequenced broadside aimed at the music industry in the age of bling and "American Idol," isn't exactly a party-starter, either -- at least not on paper: "Selling music by the gallon / And the notes don't mean a thing / The new Vietnam's a car of women / And a right hand full of rings."

Barbed lyrics, however, don't prevent Kenin from claiming its jam band bona fides. The quartet favors a sound that nearly always swells, with acoustic guitar riffs and clattering rhythms often giving way to amped-up fretwork and bucket brigade percussion. Singer Sean Gaiser's gruff voice cuts through the commotion and helps compensate for those moments when the tracks sound as if they were cut from the same pattern.

Gaiser and drummer Devin McGaughey are also responsible for most of the songwriting here. More than a cut above average, it's reason enough to give Kenin's music a close listen, somewhere removed from what's likely to be increasingly crowded clubs.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Saturday at the 9:30 club. • To hear a free Sound Bite from Kenin, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8107. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)

- The Washington Post, Friday April 22, 2005


Albums: Kenin - Just Another Blast; Kenin - Left Behind



Hi, and thanks for checking out Kenin, the DC based roots rock quartet. You're probably here to get a sense for what the band is all about and what they sound like, so we'll start with the basics:
Kenin has been around since Nov '03 and has been based out of DC since inception. They've been feverishly building their Mid Atlantic fanbase since then and have played over 150 shows in the region. Notable shows include two headlining slots at the 930 Club in Washington, DC (Sat April 23 2005, Sat July 3rd 2004) and Lion's Den (NYC), as well as opening slots for national acts at the Recher Theater (Baltimore), Funk Box (Baltimore), and other Mid Atlantic Venues. Kenin is booked by Jay Silverman of Degy Booking International, but is a self-managed entity. Kenin also co-founded their own record label, Holster Records, in the summer of 2004, which is responsible for funding and distributing their most recent release, 'Just another blast' (2005).
Kenin's sound is a mix of genres - the band is fronted by an acoustic guitar, so it begs to be called acoustic rock. But the guitar is played hard, the drums are heavy and the lead guitar is an often-distorted electric, which pushes Kenin out of the acoustic rock genre. There is a lot of percussion, and a lot of live improvisation, which makes it feel at times like a jam-rock band. Regardless of the genre, it's appealing and it's based in the roots of rock.