K’MONO – Mind Out Of Mind (2023) *HQ*

K'MONO - Mind Out Of Mind (2023) - lossless full

We all know umpteen bands who worship at the altar of the original progressive rock legends, and some are pretty good. Some less so. K’MONO are superb.
After listening this Minneapolis, Minnesota based band new album “Mind Out Of Mind” we are impressed. There’s no denying their influences; they are myriad and obvious. You’ll spot them easily, yet each is fleeting and simply the palette they draw from to create their own ‘thing’. K’MONO certainly use similarly dated instrumentation and wear their influences proudly, yet sound like nobody but themselves. It’s recognizably “prog” with an engaging musical throughline, and there are lots of lovely little twists and surprises.
The band put special attention in the mixing and arrangements – there’s an incredible ‘stereo‘ all over it – so prepare your headphones.
If this record had been released in ’70s, it might have been a bit idiosyncratic to sell well, but would definitely by now be regarded as a cult classic.

K’MONO hail from Minnesota, which is quite surprising somehow. They just don’t sound American at all. They are a trio, but sound a lot bigger than that.
The title track opens proceedings and sets the ’70s scene sonically, with driving bass, drums and keys, but straight away there is a quirky edge to things which marks this out as difficult to pin down. The opening sequence gives way to a quiet acoustic passage before a very Yes-esque choppy guitar riff rips through, melting into a brief melodic Hackett-style section.
The comparison is to give you an idea of the style, K’MONO actually sound more modern and updated.

Good Looking is a left field move; a concise pop-rock song. It sounds like a synth pop band from the ’80s, with a laid back vocal delivery, and a really catchy chorus, but it’s still got a quirk factor, and a weird guitar solo which manages to be serious and frivolous at the same time. Nothing else on the album sounds like this, and it makes a nice palette cleanser between the proggier pieces.
In the Lost & Found has a cool guitar/electric piano intro, and is veering briefly into Steely Dan jazzy territory before the prog weirdness returns. There is some very effective lead and backing vocal interplay as the next chapter of the story unfolds, and some unusual bass and drum rhythms.

A symphonic vocal interval called Time Will Tell precedes the whimsy of Tell Me the Lore, then Millipede Man introduces a funky element. K’mono seem to relish the opportunity to layer many different textural elements to their music, yet manage to avoid a cluttered sound.
They certainly aren’t short of musical ideas, and after three listens to this record, I’m still finding new elements I’d not noticed before. It’s a sure sign of an album with longevity built in.

The album is wrapped up with Answers in the Glass, and sums up the band nicely; dynamic time signatures, memorable melodies, peculiar lyrics, tasteful synth and guitar embellishments, and an over-arching structure which is strangely satisfying. The standard of musicianship is top notch, and arrangements tight and punchy.

This new album from K’mono is exactly the sort of retro-prog album we all love, though I do hesitate to use that label with this band. They unashamedly draw from key players of the 1970s, but they also have their own twists, and more modern sensibilities are evident too – especially in the mixing and arrangements. It’s only 41 minutes long, and it’s perfect at that.
Definitely give this a listen if you’re a fan of the classic progressive sound with a dynamic, mostly upbeat delivery, plus some ’80s rock&pop overtones.
Highly Recommended


1 – Mind Out Of Mind
2 – Good-looking
3 – In The Lost & Found
4 – Time Will Tell…
5 – Tell Me The Lore
6 – Millipede Man
7 – Answers In The Glass

Jeffrey Carlson: Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Chad Fjerstad: Vocals, Bass, Keys
Timothy Java: Drums



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