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We Are Kin - …and I know… album review

Oddball, quirky, yet enticing second helping from the Manchester quartet.

We Are Kin - …and I know… album cover

You never quite know what to expect from We Are Kin. On their second album, the Mancunian foursome splay themselves across the musical hemispheres, being as capable of jazz fusion as of folk ambience. The upshot is that …and I know… is quite startling and striking.

The longest tracks, …that one day… and …goodbye, have passages of contemplation, yet the approach is elastic enough to suddenly burst into something altogether more primal. Emma Brewin-Caddy’s vocals joust neatly with Dan Zambas’ guitar and keyboard strides. The pair show a composed understanding of how to move from a gentle breeze to a more stormy passage. The shorter tracks also have much to commend. Ramsay Janini’s flute plunges bring a poise and furtiveness to …we’ll have to say…, and the generally sedate mood is nicely stirred up on the more gregarious Radio.

We Are Kin refuse to be cunningly bundled into a genre. They draw here from a selection of influences, including Kate Bush, Björk, Van der Graaf Generator and Steven Wilson. But when expertly mixed together, as it is throughout, you have something that becomes a unique experience. Understated and low key, …and I know… is formidable.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.