Album Review: Kylesa – Exhausting Fire

Kylesa – Exhausting Fire

Kylesa - EXHAUSTING FIRE album cover art [courtesy of Season of Mist]
Kylesa – EXHAUSTING FIRE album cover art [courtesy of Season of Mist]

Phillip Cope – vocals, guitars (2001–present)
Laura Pleasants – vocals, guitars (2001–present)
Chase Rudeseal – bass (2013–present)

The latest from Kylesa, the band that keeps on giving, “Exhausting Fire” is everything but Exhausting! I know some of you from our hometown are a little hellbent for this band due to Laura’s “Fuck St. Louis” Comment on facebook that was immediately taken down (either due to professionalism from someone else in the band or regret, we may never know), but setting all of that aside you have to admit that their music is something to stand by. I will be the first to admit and probably not the last, that their previous album “Ultraviolet” was mediocre at best. It was a very experimental album for them at the time and they got it out of their systems. . Fast forward two years to well now and They’ve got a good thing going for them.

“Exhausting Fire” is a fairly straight forward album with heavy hitters such as opening song ‘Crusher,’ ‘Lost and Confused’ (one of the first released tracks from the album), ‘Shaping the Southern Sky’ amongst others. Sure they have some ambiance mixed into their songs, but in some scenarios it creates for a great build up to the punch in the face, prime example of that is the track ‘Shaping the Southern Sky’ it slows down toward the middle just to kick your ass in the end! The last few tracks of the album are ok, could take em or leave em… part of that could be that in recent years tracks that included mostly vocals from Laura have been lackluster at best. I truly believe that if a Kylesa song is going to be 100% in your face and awesome it features heavy vocals from Philip. This has nothing to do with the fact that Laura is female, I believe her strongest work is with her main instrument of the guitar. Don’t get me wrong she had great vocal parts in 2010’s “Spiral Shadow”, but over the years her voice doesn’t contribute much to the band any more, I feel like its more filler than anything these days.

Instrumentally this album is solid throughout even the double drums are something to note in this one listening to songs like ‘Crusher,’ ‘Lost and Confused’ and ‘Growning Roots’ really stand out to me as songs that would be amazing to watch live with the dual drummers. Vocally as I stated, if there were more of Philip’s voice throughout this could have been one of their best albums in a while. They have all evolved so much in their instruments that it hurts to hear that Laura has so much vocal time. That being said yes the album is worth checking out, how you do it is up to you. That being said, if Kylesa makes it a point to come to your town in the near future, by all means go to their show! It is a phenomenal show to watch and they could really use the support from their fan base. . . The last crowd at the St. Louis show was pretty, meh and it was disappointing because I know they can draw more than 100 people, if there was even that.
Rating: 3/5 (so much potential here, though I am sure the songs fucking rule live!)
RIYL: Black Tusk, Royal Thunder, Mastodon

Track List:

1. Crusher
2. Inward Debate
3. Moving Day
4. Lost and Confused
5. Shaping the Southern Sky
6. Falling
7. Night Drive
8. Blood Moon
9. Growing Roots
10. Out of My Mind

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