By Mandy Cappleman
First of all, let me tell you… if you haven’t heard “Morning Radio” by M.M.S. Kaiser, I’d highly recommend it. But don’t just hear it, make sure you’re listening deeply and mindfully (in other words: headphones, folks.) Call me a fan, I LOVE it – and either you will or you won’t but, either way, you should still have this experience… because that’s exactly what it is: an experience.
Now that we got that out of the way… the album opens with this intense monologue accompanied by radio fuzz. Now, maybe it’s all the fun I’ve had in a past life, but I can barely handle it – yet I find myself continuing to go back for more. Words aside (because it’s next to impossible, at least for me, to focus on the words,) it’s like spiraling into this unending, confusing, and terrifying tunnel… perhaps a well… which is what I like about it the most: the doom-laden tone and radio fuzz offer a unique experience.
Let’s continue deeper into the well with “Wants” (track two.) It’s as if Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen reproduced. Everything about this song is deep and dark (my favorite line from this song is “sometimes I think I should go and leave us both alone.”) It is literally like falling into a well (full of a very old man’s tears.)
Speaking of wells… track six (“Poison In The Well”) offers a higher and dreamier-sounding vocal tone… it makes me think of Nirvana at bedtime – soft and drowsy and dreary… that is, until you reach the refrain – and then I take back whatever I said about bedtime; it’s like ghastly muppets from middle earth (which, in some strange way, reminds me of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”) and they’re all crawling up and pouring out of the well in zounds with the sole intention of eating all of your dreams… I love it.
Track three (“See You Fall”) is definitely my favorite track on the album. I love the rolling, Kottke-esque guitar riff. The lyrics are well-composed and offer a wealth of wonderfully macabre humor. The vocal inflections fit perfectly. The low, gravelly, threatening refrain makes me damp. And then… like so many other good things, it’s over too soon… and I find myself wanting to listen to it over again… and again.
“Too Much” (track seven) is brutal. It opens with what sounds like broken glass and then the sound of rain or crackling fire, can’t tell which… along with this nice, repetitive guitar riff… and then there’s this sudden outburst of “I HAVE FUCKING LOST IT!” and continues with this intense outpouring of emotion via emphatic spoken word – and what an experience it is… perfect for getting it all out.
Track eight (“Alone & Breathing”) makes me picture some kind of ghostly figure that somehow became trapped in a dark, dank closet (with a leaky, drippy ceiling and creaky floor) and has given up the fight to break free of its circumstance. With the raindrop-sounding guitar riff and long, low, gravelly vocal tones, this track adds yet another unique experience to the album.
Thinking about it even more in depth, there isn’t a single track on this album that I don’t like – I like them all. They are all interesting and tied together with radio fuzz, which makes for a unique listening experience on the whole.
Today has been brought to you by the letter ‘e’ and the word ‘experience’ – thank you for reading and now… I encourage you to check out M.M.S. Kaiser’s “Morning Radio” on bandcamp: https://mmskaiser.bandcamp.com/ (and listen mindfully with headphones!)
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