New Music Roundup, June 25th-July 1st


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Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon


Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon

The neo-psychedelic haven of Melbourne, Australia is also home to the Grammy-nominated “Future Soul” group Hiatus Kaiyote, whose second album, Choose Your Weapon, is making people go “like, wow”.  There’s some good reason for the hype:  Hiatus Kaiyote crafts some next-level soul music out of the cutting-edge sounds of contemporary hip hop and R&B and then adds the funk-mining groove that the group is best known for.  When gets into a serious thing, it’s some of the best head-nodder music you’ll find.

The problem, though, is that beyond an unearthly ability to find their way into the pocket there isn’t much to recommend on Choose Your Weapon.  Tracks like “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” and “Atari” are stone killers, but there’s sixty-nine minutes of tracks just like them, and after a while it wears thin.  By the time “Building A Ladder” comes along it’s exhausting, and you’re left feeling tired and aimless.  Choose Your Weapon is at its heart a groove in search of a message, or an anthem, or something to bring it up to the next level and turn them from a pretty great jam into a band worth encapsulating on an album.  Choose Your Weapon feels like a demo reel of its maker’s talents, which is unfortunate when you consider those talents.