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Kowloon Walled City, 'Oxygen Tent'

For the past 14 years, Oakland's Kowloon Walled City has been in a constant state of deconstruction – yet "Oxygen Tent" spirals the band's grief-stricken, metallic noise-rock outward. If past records were a sludgy bummer akin to Harvey Milk, this intricate-yet-ballistic arrangement owes more to Slint and Moss Icon. Nervy riffs float like exhaust fumes, as drum fills puncture dead space and a distorted bass breaks apart a throbbing groove. When the band locks full barrel into the clobbering climax, the anxious atmosphere turns to stone.

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