Album: Lincoln

Kibokin, Narwhal
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The Independent Culture

Kibokin is the second mini-album in just over half a year from singular north London combo Lincoln. Not as obviously influenced by American sadcore as their earlier Barcelona, these five long tracks (32 minutes in total) refine further the band's moody, brass-laden sound, to the point where it becomes a recognisable style all their own. Lincoln use brass in a manner which owes little to either jazz or colliery bands, recalling instead the melancholy antiquity of Garth Hudson's work with The Band – and something of the stifling formality of John Adams' minimalism. It offers the perfect setting for gloomy fare like "Drowning In Flame", which borrows Charles Bukowski's evocative image to express the knotted pain of bereavement, the horns subtly shifting from mournful to hopeful as closure approaches; "Crow Song", in which foggy horns and keening electric guitar capture the apprehension of a soldier facing combat: "The mist is drifting with the moonlight/As we fix our bayonets/The shattered sky/The crows are waiting/Drawing a veil on my return"; and the mid-life crisis ruminations of "Little Mistakes". With the tracks cemented into a single continuum by found-sound interludes of radio tuning, helicopter noise and old folks' sing-song, the effect is somewhat akin to Lambchop's Thriller, and not much shorter.