Kieskagato | You, Are The One, Who Can

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Math Rock Moods: Type: Experimental
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You, Are The One, Who Can

by Kieskagato

The debut recording as Kieskagato, produced by Larry Crane.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Omaha
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4:08 $0.99
2. See You At The Meeting
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4:08 $0.99
3. The Start Up
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1:43 $0.99
4. Confidence
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5:05 $0.99
5. Muevete Como a Noche
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5:12 $0.99
6. 'Til You Wake Up
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5:01 $0.99
7. On Solid Ground
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5:01 $0.99
8. White Castle
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3:39 $0.99
9. The Seventeen
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10. Thursday
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This album catches Kieskagato at the height of its post-Radiohead phase, as Dave Jorgensen's jazz influenced songwriting gels with Josh Vasby's uncanny grunge sensabilities to form a very unique blend. On You Are The One Who Can, we hear the same harmonized trumpet layering that would later help propel Blind Pilot's Three Rounds And A Sound to commercial success, juxtaposed with some genuinely gritty and hard rocking guitar work from Vasby and Schultz.

Kieskagato [Kee ska got oh] formed in the mid 1990’s in Madison, Wisconsin and moved to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2000. Changing dramatically over the years in both name (originally called Rm. 101) and musical style, Kieskagato has morphed from a Radiohead and Built to Spill influenced indie-rock band into an ambiguous musical anomaly that combines everything from free jazz to hardcore rock, drawing equally from Charles Mingus, Mike Patton, Kurt Cobain, and Tortoise. Over the course of touring, recording, and composing, highlights have included opening for notable acts Crooked Fingers, Rogue Wave, Archer Prewitt, and Pete Yorn, as well as making two records with recording industry legend Larry Crane. During 2005, current Kieskagato members Josh Vasby (lead vocals, guitar, trumpet), Adam Schultz (bass, trumpet, percussion), Bryan Fairfield (drums, backup vocals, percussion), and David Jorgensen (Rhodes piano, organ, trumpet) completed 2 successful national tours, released a unique EP featuring remixes and rearrangements of classic Kieskagato material, and enjoyed a 3 month weekly residency at a favorite Portland club. The band is currently sequestered in its garage/studio preparing to record its next release in late summer.

"It should come as no surprise that a band whose name grafts the Russian and Spanish name for "cat" together can take components of jazz, soul and pop and conjoin them with such satisfying results. On their second album, You are The One Who Can, Kieskagato may blend together several musical genres, but the resulting sound is all their own. What makes the band so appealing is that it's never clear where the songs are going. For example, the opener "Omaha" is a breezy number buoyed by singer Josh Vasby's endearing drag that starts with a soulful groove then merges into a weaving trumpet solo and later morphs into a trippy jam. Meanwhile, the smooth and textured "See You At The Meeting" climaxes with an instrumental workout, "On Solid Ground" builds into a rocker and "Til You Wake Up" is a spacy jazz tinged number. You, Are The One, Who Can is a 10-track album of such a vast sonic scale that it is hard to classify; unpredictable, inventive, and unique, it is one of the most captivating releases in recent memory."
- Alex Green for Amplifier Magazine


Reviews


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Seth LaJeunesse

Genre-bending eargasmic experience
The disc starts with the currently organic sound of a disposable camera being rewinded. Direct references to "Omaha" are welcomed and ironic in a sense. The second track ushers in sounds of a funky Fugazi, eccentric, yet able to get your feet a movin. In the interest of remaining succint, I will say that this album is essential for any individual intrigued by time signature changes and a flourishing of distinct styles of music. Go out and get this today would ya?

Splendid Magazine

Genre-bending stuff from a band that's not afraid to mix things up
Depending on where you put the (metaphorical) needle down, this Portland-based band's second CD can sound like experimental Radiohead-leaning post-rock, brassy Latin pop or coolly reflective fusion jazz. It often happens within a single song, as on "Confidence", where Yorke-ish alienation gives way to Spanish horns right out of a Calexico CD. And surprisingly, it works. You're never bored. You're never confused.
Kieskagato got its name by combining the Russian and Spanish words for cat, so it's no surprise that the band slaps disparate sounds -- jazz, rock, soul and Latin -- together in a calico blend of styles. However, there's an underlying thread of commonality in Josh Vasby's quavery vocals, in Dave Jorgensen's glowing Fender Rhodes and trumpet, in the light and shimmery drumming from Bryan Fairfield. Jorgensen, a jazzman before he joined the band in 2001, lends authority to their forays into progressive rock and jazz. There's never a sense that the band is reaching -- only that it is continually exploring and pushing.

Highlights here include the expansively moody "Omaha", lit from within by keyboards and given angsty spine with its repeating guitar line, the complex "Confidence", and the all-instrumental, jazz-like "White Castle". "Muevete Como A Noche" feels less interesting at first, a little too standard-issue grunge in the melody, but is redeemed by a clean and anxious drum line and keening keyboards. No such luck for "See You at the Meeting", a self-consciously upbeat track that can't escape its pop ordinariness.

On the whole, though, this is excellent genre-bending stuff from a band that's not afraid to mix things up.

Oregon Music Guide

Kieskagato: You, Are The One, Who Can
Making good music doesn't always mean having to reinvent the wheel; sometimes, it's just a matter of rotating the tires. Art has always been influenced by something that has come before it and truly inspired work doesn't simply replicate its predecessors but tweaks them into something fresh and new.

Portland's Kieskagato (a name compounded from the Russian and Spanish words for cat) originally formed in Madison, Wisconsin under the name Room 101. After moving to the Rose City in hopes of expanding its art, the band added a variety of different influences and transformed them into something that is both immediately familiar and uncommonly fantastic. The fruit of their most recent laboring, You, Are The One, Who Can is an indie rock record that flows smoothly from the sounds of serenity into just enough agitation to keep the listener in captivity.

Nothing here is exactly what would be called traditional and, yet, it's difficult to describe exactly what it is about the album that makes it so unique. Often, it feels more like a jam album because of it only slight emphasis on repeated riffs but, at the same time, it maintains the distinct objectivity of an alternative album. Trumpets, which are usually reserved for the upbeat, dancy feel of ska, make subtle appearances which compliment rather than command the music. Guitars and organs often combine forces to create a sound that seems greater than the sum of its parts in number, if not overall volume. Overall the laid back but confident, unified feel to the album isn't necessarily anything groundbreaking, but still it maintains an original creativity from start to finish.

Incidentally, what is most familiar on the album also turns out to be its biggest asset. Josh Vasby's vocal style is precisely what Radiohead's Thom Yorke would sound like if he decided to quit dabbling in experimental music. Melodic and slightly melancholy, Vasby's voice is the perfect ambassador of a typically rainy Portland afternoon. It's difficult to tell the extent of his range, as he tends to stay in his comfort zone. This is never out of the band's style and he succeeds admirably but the listener could be left wondering what else could be squeezed from his lungs.

Words like promising and satisfying linger after listening to this album. While you might be hard pressed to call this one of the year's best, it immediately demands a second listen and could easily be at the forefront of Portland's ever growing independent rock scene.

Impact Magazine

Kieskagato- You, Are The One, Who Can
Rock bands with trumpets usually piss me off; they're like, "Oh, we're so unique, we've got a trumpet." Assholes. Much to my surprise, and thankfully so, Kieskagato is not one of those bands. These guys mix together elements of indie rock, jazz, funk, and Latin music, and somehow manage to pull it off successfully. It doesn't feel forced, like so many bands that try to blend seemingly disparate styles of music. There's a bit of a Radiohead vibe as well, as Josh Vasby's vocals are reminiscent of the 'head's Thom Yorke. Don't let the trumpet scare ya, this is good stuff.

The Jazz Review

You, Are The One, We Can ummm…interesting title for an album isn’t it?
Kieskagato (combines Russian and Spanish word for cat) are a band that can offer diversity in style lyrically and musically. There is nothing cut and dried about these cats, they use parts of rock, pop and jazz to bring their message on home to the listener. You really do have to listen to everything they have to offer, just remember that there really is a difference between hearing and listening. I noticed when I first heard their CD I really wasn’t crazy about it; it seemed the vocals were on the low end of the scale but I really noticed the instrumentation. I gave it another spin, heard some more, then I was able to separate the vocals and music as it was intended by the band, which is likely due to the fact that I paid more attention the second time around. Just because I am reviewer doesn’t mean I am any different from anyone else, I just take the extra time to give the music a fair chance, which only one listen does not provide.


Josh Vasby, the lead vocalist, sounds like a sedate Al Stewart. With the music building behind him, he delivers his lines in a dreamy way, which suits the ebb and flow of the musical tide just right. The most pleasing aspect about this music for me was the constant change and variety in each song, which is the one most important factor that won me over in the end with this band. The jazz aspects make their sound more interesting and full and they provide flashes of some heavy-duty guitar riffs now and then. In the end, I think there is something for everyone on this kind of album, although if you prefer the hard rock screamer types as lead vocalists you won’t find it here. This band has a lot of taste and talent and they know how to use it when they record an album.