Kingston Wall

Picture of Kingston Wall

Kingston Wall

Kingston Wall - Kingston Wall ©1992 Trinity
1. With My Mind
2. Used To Feel Before
3. I'm Not The One
4. Fire
5. Waste Of Time
6. Nepal
7. And I Hear You Call
8. Tanya
9. I Prelude
10. II On My Own
11. III The Weep
12. IV Mushrooms
13. V Circumstances
14. VI Captain Relief
15. VII More Mushrooms
16. VIII The Answer

Kingston Wall was a somewhat short-lived band from Finland that ended in the tragic suicide of singer/guitarist Petri Walli in 1995. The legacy of the band included three exceptional records, each improving upon its predecessor. The quasi-psychedelic edge of the band created a sound that was steeped in older rock, druglaced inspiration and lyrics that seemed to hint at the mental state of Walli. The original releases for Kingston Wall were released on the band's own label and are quite difficult to find. Fortunately, the albums were all reissued in 1998 with bonus discs.

The first Kingston Wall album is a somewhat jagged and rough around the edges rock release that still captures a vibrant, enthusiastic and enjoyable trio of musicians. Walli's guitar playing is loose, occasionally scattershot, but always enveloping and fun. The typical array of psychedelic effects, such as the wah pedal and ample echo, are used throughout and the songs are arranged in such a way that the three musicians have plenty of room to work without clashing into one another. Most importantly, the energy of the music is contagious, creating an album that is nearly as much for the listener as it evidentally was for the band to play. Fortunately Kingston Wall curtailed excessive jamming to focus on the songs, rather than endless noodling. There is a suggestion of drug inspiration throughout the album, particularly on the twenty-one minute "Mushrooms Suite", which closes out the album. Chances are the title has nothing to do with pizza toppings. The only drawback to this album is the fact that Walli's vocals are a bit of an acquired taste. His guitar playing is fantastic, but his singing is on the thin side and occasionally detracts from the music. However, this is only a minor complaint as often he's quite able to convey the melodies well.

Although Kingston Wall I is a fine debut, the band would only improve upon the base they created here. The reissued version includes six live bonus tracks from 1991. Since the original is likely to be difficult to find, the bonus version would be worth the search.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2002

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