Kathy King / Mark Kissinger - "One Night In Ann Arbor"
(Lizard Lips Music 2003, CDR)
From Aural Innovations #24 (July 2003)
I've heard a few projects from guitarist Mark Kissinger (collaborations with Rotcod Zzaj, Don Campau, and Bret Hart) but Kathy King is new to me. According to the letter from Kissinger she was a prolific member of the hometaper underground in the 1980's and early 90's, until events sidelined her from music for about ten years. One Night In Ann Arbor was the result of an impromptu jam with Kissinger and marks her return to creating music.
The trademark sound of the music is a combination of strumming acoustic guitar and pulsating and bubbling psychedelic guitar. Kissinger is credited with "earthbound" guitar and King with "stratospheric" guitar so that's clearly her tripping out on the electric. Throughout the album Kissinger sets the pace with his melodic acoustic strumming while King explores the paisley colored cosmos with her carefully considered acid leads. Man, some of these notes wail on for a few seconds. So simple yet so lysergically luscious. Her style is reminiscent of the most spaced out parts of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual" or Ax Genrich's UFO guitar in Guru Guru. But King is far more than just pure acidic aggression. She can communicate a lulling, mindbending passion, particularly on songs like "Empty House", which has kind of a Neil Young "Down By The River" feel, though King creates an infinitely more spaced out vibe. "Michigan Water" is similar, consisting of beautifully drifting atmospheric music for your head. "First Meeting" is one of my favorites, consisting of slowly rolling drones and swirling funnels of distorted sound. And dig those screaming licks on the potent closing number, "Rubber Chicken Rides... Again!".
In summary, this album took me by surprise and I'd really love to hear some of King's earlier work. For pure acidic passion this is beautiful stuff and deserving of an attentive headphones listen.
For more information you can email Mark Kissinger at: email@example.com.
Contact Kathy King via snail mail at 636 Louise Dr; Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz