Kowloon Walled City’s debut full-length album Gambling On The Richter Scale from 2009 is a very strong and promising album. Apart from EPs and Splits, this is the main release from the band to date, but is a very good release indeed.
I came to the band through an online recommendation that they were ‘for fans of Mastodon, Godflesh and Neurosis’ and I think that that is a pretty fair statement. The band do have a certain similarity in the jagged, blasting and menacing-sounding songwriting style, akin to Mastodon’s Remission album and use sludgey guitar tones and infrequent barking screams not unlike Scott Kelly’s trademark vocal style and it is the musical connection with those band’s style that makes the band so enjoyable. Kowloon Walled City aren’t an exact clone, but if you like those bands then there’s a good chance you might like this album.
The San Francisco band are very talented and deliver this style of music well; gnarled, low-end orientated and noisey at is. All musicians here are skilled and create a solid and consistent record in Gambling On The Richter Scale. Album highlights include the incredibly crunchy and powerful Title Track and the slow building album-closer ‘More Like The Shit Factory.’
At around thirty six minutes in length, the eight track album is focused and concise, delivering the band’s intent without becoming stale or boring. The album all runs along similar musical lines, but the record isn’t really long enough for this to be a lack of variety.
Overall, I am looking forward to more music from Kowloon Walled City and hope that they get bigger in the future.