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Kitchens Of Distinction Album Reviews 4out of 5
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The Death Of Cool

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Thanks to Radiohead's Greenwood brothers paying respects to their unique take on guitar-driven rock music, Kitchens Of Distinction may at last receive the recognition they deserve. Arguably more famous during their time for their homo-erotic lyrics and cover art; their music often took a back seat in the media's eyes. The sad truth is they made some of the most beautiful, emotionally-charged music of modern times. Early releases such as the 'Elephantine' EP demonstrated their melodic intent but despite excellent reviews they never quite achieved to reach beyond a cult following. Their sound was original but could be best compared to A R Kane's dub-heavy atmospherics tacked onto the dreamy soundscapes pioneered by The Cocteau Twins.

The differences between 'Strange Free World' and 1992's 'The Death Of Cool' are paper-thin in terms of sonic effects. Julian Swales's guitar stylings gave the impression there were 1,000 guitarists in the group such was the dense wall of sound conjured up by his histrionics; vitally the records still retained a melodic edge but now they often remained submerged amongst near-impenetrable layers. Understandably it seemed their time had come and gone in terms of commercial potential so it's safe to say that if 'Love Is Hell' failed to win listeners they wouldn't win any more here. That said there's some excellent material on offer particularly the unusually delicately played guitar featured in 'Mad As Snow' (with its gloriously blissed-outro), 'On Tooting Broadway Station' and 'Can't Trust The Waves'; 'When In Heaven' is a more uptempo number which provides refereshing light relief following on from the preceding 'Gone World Gone' as Fitzgerald's voice is drowned out by Swales's work. At its worst, in the case of 'Blue Pedal' there isn't even a tangible melody and the formula starts to tire a little. More noticeable still is Fitzgerald's maturing voice which now recalled The Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler's trademark croak. Nevertheless this remains many fans' favourite album because it is their least commercial offering.

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  Track Listing
01 What Happens Now?
02 4 Men
03 On Tooting Broadway Station
04 Breathing Fear
05 Gone World Gone
06 When In Heaven
Standout Track Mad As Snow
08 Smiling
09 Blue Pedal
10 Can't Trust The Waves

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
AC Acoustics - Understanding Music, O
A.R. Kane - Sixty Nine, i
Cocteau Twins, The - BBC Sessions
Hero, Stephen - Landed, Lullaby, Darkness & The Day
Kitchens Of Distinction - Love Is Hell, Strange Free World, Cowboys And Aliens, Capsule - The Best Of KOD: 1988-94
Twilight Sad, The - Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
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