Our Powers Combined…
To truly get the gist of what Kimono Kult is all about, one need only look at the supergroup’s personnel: former RHCP guitarist and ultimate experimentalist John Frusciante, Bosnian Rainbows cohorts Teri Gender Bender and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, The Starlite Desperation guitarist Dante White, Neurotic Yell Records CEO Nicole Turley and Laena Geronimo. The lengthy list makes up nary a percentage of the musicians’ respective influences and styles. Kimono Kult’s aesthetic is so completely tightly packed that their four song debut EP feels almost like an all-out LP. Opener “Todo Menos el Doro” (yes, this is entirely in español album) comes on loud and proud. Kimono Kult have nothing to hide and no need to ease you into anything, really.
Gender Bender previously stated that she approached pronunciation and meaning itself in the eyes of an alien, though her vocals breathe impeccable life into each track. No matter how distorted, airy and echoey, Gender Bender exudes a show-stopping confidence throughout Hiding in the Light. “Las Esposas” taps into that bravado with a spoken word intro swirling through the echo chamber of distant guitars and pulsating percussion. At times, the futuristic march of Nicole Turley’s drumming feels almost industrial to the point of being robotic. Turley reigns in her precision with a careful choice in tones. The raindrop pitter-patter that kicks off “La Vida es Una Caja Hermosa” is just as pivotal as its dissonant organ counterpart.
What sets Kimono Kult apart from other acts that experiment just for the sake of it is the fact that there’s a self-exploration and examination from each musician that makes Hiding in the Light an act of introspection amongst masterful musicians. Though I’d hate for something to distract Gender Bender and Rodriguez-Lopez from putting out more Bosnian Rainbows albums, Kimono Kult will more than suffice.