Kayak Jones’s “Flawed” Is Anything But
Kayak Jones rounded out 2016 as a stellar year for music with their sophomore EP, Flawed. Reminiscent of the early 2000s, along with hints of Moose Blood and Somos, these five songs pack a serious emo punch.
By the end of the first track, “Highland Park”, Kayak Jones has already created a cohesive sound all their own. While there are artistic comparisons that can be drawn to any given section of the music, these influences blend and intertwine in a brand new way. Throughout the EP the band experiments within the boundaries it set forth, making sure it does not go stale without delivering anything overly shocking to the listener. Swooping guitars transition into staccatoed jangles, vocals intensify, and additional melodies are layered in, but the foundation of the music is never out of reach.
The sonic intensity is supported by the emotional lyrical content. Whether it’s words of hope, “The furnace in your chest is dim but still lit / I believe in you, kid. You can get through this,” or despair, “Yes, it hurt when I watched your eyes avert / as you said you’d never fall away, you fell away,” Kayak Jones presents themselves in the earnest, believable way that can’t help but create a passionate fanbase. Though vocalist Tyler Zumhof’s delivery has a sense of urgency, this feels like music that would be even more powerful in a live setting with his words being screamed right back to him.
When giving this release a listen it is obvious that the title Flawed speaks to personal and societal issues rather than anything about the music itself. The artistic output is aided by great production, making it a satisfying experience that’s easy on the ears. It’s hard to believe that a band can sound this polished and put together being only on their sophomore release. The members of Kayak Jones clearly put much thought and effort into their craft, which is then backed up by actual talent.