There is a more refined sheen to Polysomn compared to Kairon; IRSE!’s astonishing debut Ujubasajuba. The band has not stayed still. The production is handled for the first time by the group themselves and has a definite sense of purpose. It is accomplished, gliding and epic. ‘Psionic Static’ is a whirling, panoramic opening track that promises an album with limitless potential that could shoot off in any direction. The mixture of shoegaze and much heavier, crunchier post-rock has a combined quality that bands usually find difficult to deliver – it is a new, fresh spin on established sounds.
As we’ve come to expect from Kairon; IRSE!, each track is treated as a blank canvas on which a sprawling, heroic saga unfolds. Each song adds up to a greater, cohesive whole. ‘Welcome Blue Valkyrie’ particularly stands out with its reflective vocals and strangely melancholic, sparkly chord progressions which contrast wildly against the heavy, slow moving, psychedelic outro that follows. The band, taking reverby cues from My Bloody Valentine, sound like they are shooting through space.
‘An Bat None’ is definitely the stand out single on Polysomn, with its end of the world guitars and fast moving, glitchy synth line. It might be the best song Kairon; IRSE! have ever written, with them at their most elevated and urgent. The production does not set you up for the sudden, sensational jabs delivered on this track, so when they occur it is like your whole body is being shaken without warning. This song melts into the spooky ‘Mir Inoi’ which shows off a refreshingly different set of skills. The polite, organ-like synths and quasi-religious choir singing make for a thoughtful listen.
At this point the album starts to sit back a bit and settles into something “nice” for a couple of tracks. ‘Altaïr Descends’ and ‘Hypnogram’ have the same glorious production and quality performances but lack the bite and gorgeous hooks heard throughout the rest of the record. Thankfully they pull it back before the end of the LP with the superb falling down stairs bass-line and mystical chimes of ‘White Flies’. It is gratifying that they saved the most vibrant and colourful cut for this late in the LP.
This album is a must listen on the basis that you won’t hear what Kairon; IRSE! are doing anywhere else. Even if it’s an imperfect album, the highs are easily high enough to command 50 minutes of your time. It is cohesive and impeccably produced from start to finish.
Polysomn is out now on Svart Records.