Band Review: Kusanagi

8 Production
8 Composition
7 Mood
7 Instrumentation
7.5

Post-rock and neighbouring genres, usually instrumental, are, more often than not, being accused of seeming sad and melancholic. Since I personally don’t agree with this statement, allow me to introduce Kusanagi, an instrumental four-piece from Liverpool. They are living proof that there are exceptions to the “rule” and that the instrumental branch of music has some joyful bands to offer.

Prior to the creation of the band, band members Dan, Alan and Ben liked to jam together every now and then. They soon realized drums would be a nice fit to their respective instruments—a bass and two guitars. Dan spoke with his colleague Dean, who shared music tastes with the trio. Kusanagi is inspired by bands you probably listen to, such as Lite, ASIWYFA, Maybeshewill, Mogwai and Russian Circles, and some you should at least have heard of, like Tool, Foo Fighters and Nirvana. During their first jam together they wrote their very first song “Mirror Image,” and so Kusanagi formed in late 2011.

WATCH: KUSANAGI – MIRROR IMAGE [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

There are moments in our lives when we are looking for a jolt of energy, something to help us rise and shine, overcome obstacles and face difficulties. Kusanagi delivers. Head over to their Bandcamp and treat yourselves to some of their music, which can make even a Monday morning have a nice perspective. The fact that I praise Kusanagi as an energetic and lively band does not mean that there aren’t any slower passages in their songs—I just wouldn’t consider them the mood-shaping parts of their music. Even though there are ups and downs to be found, I find that their music won’t leave you overwhelmed with doubt, dark thoughts or in gloomy mood. Kusanagi are not the kind of band that will throw you on your knees; they will help you proudly rise your head and face the day.

Since they formed, Kusanagi have played gigs all over the UK including Liverpool, Manchester and, most recently, London for the first time. Even though they are quite a young band, they have already shared the scene with some truly great bands such as Maybeshewill, Tera Melos, Alpha Male Tea Party and Alright the Captain. Their jamming has also evolved as Kusanagi now rehearse in Crash Studios in Liverpool and have been doing so for over a year now. You can listen to 2 EPs of theirs: “Kusanagi” from 2013 and “They Will Come Back For You…” from 2014.

WATCH: KUSANAGI – WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

The two music videos should give you a nice idea of what to expect from this instrumental quartet Their play style is quite energetic and not too heavy, which results in their music being rather spirit-lifting. It’s hard for me to point to a single distinct element as they present a good harmony and a balanced style that is certain to appeal to fans of different instruments. While the two EPs they have recorded so far are quite similar in their style, there is one particular area in which Kusanagi stand out. The composition of an album can often make it or break it. Have you ever been disappointed by an album which starts brilliantly but slowly fades away towards mediocrity, leaving a certain distaste? That’s not the case with both of their EPs. Even if initially I wasn’t “in,” in both cases the last two songs convinced me and proved that I should be patient when it comes to waiting for Kusanagi’s first LP, which I hope will arrive sooner than later.

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