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Kitchens Of Distinction Album Reviews 4out of 5
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Strange Free World

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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.

From 1990, 'Strange Free World' was a quick follow-up which divided the critics more than the debut. In a word it can be described as 'oceanic'; as huge waves of guitar crash down, attempting to drown out Fitzgerald's maturing voice. Submerged beneath the watery guitar textures are driving rock songs that have stood the test of time very well. 'Railwayed' and 'He Holds Her, He Needs Her' deserve special mention with their use of huge, powerful, bludgeoning choruses and yet there's always a strange tangible air of romance and/or lost love at some British seaside resort. The single 'Gorgeous Love' is unrepresentative of the album as a whole but at least gives the listener a moment of clarity and a breather from the cacopohony of effects surrounding it. That lack of variety perhaps prevents this recording being termed a classic and the murky, dense production values won't endear this music to everyone. But then again, the threesome at least demonstrated that they had hit on a winning, original formula which would provide cultish support if not mainstream respect.

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  Track Listing
01 Railwayed
02 Quick As Rainbows
03 Hypnogogie
Standout Track He Holds Her, He Needs Her
05 Polaroids
06 Gorgeous Love
07 Aspray
08 Drive That Fast
09 Within The Daze Of Passion
10 Under The Sky, Inside The Sea

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, The Death Of Cool, Cowboys And Aliens
Twilight Sad, The - Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
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