Street Sects / The Kicking Mule

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There are albums out there that will pull you into a nostalgic comfort zone. There are others that push boundaries and challenge you a bit. Then there are albums like The Kicking Mule by Street Sects that punch the status quo squarely in the mouth. Unless you’ve listened to Street Sects before I’d dare say you’ve never listened to anything like this before. Why? Because this isn’t a band that has any interest in following in the footsteps of anyone else. Even if you’re a seasoned fan, The Kicking Mule pushes the band into more tonal territories than ever before.

Remember that punch in the mouth I just mentioned? I think that’s what makes The Kicking Mule so special. It takes social commentary and forces you to look at things you might not want to see. If you are accustomed to albums that are cookie cutter carbon copies, fed to you in pre-packaged single servings, Street Sects are offering up a blinders free experience that’s probably going to make you uncomfortable. Honestly, that’s a good thing.

Bombast aside, I think that this new album shows that Street Sects can really shine when they’re showing restraint. It makes the explosive moments all the more poignant and keeps you off guard. Speaking of keeping people off guard, I just had the opportunity to host the band at this year’s Echosynthetic Fest. Right before their set I leaned over to an attendee and told him the crowd had no idea what was about to hit them. I told him he wasn’t ready either. Less than half an hour later people were slack jawed, strobe blind, and unsure of what had just occurred. The man next to me leaned over and said, “Man…you’re right. I wasn’t ready.” To me that sums up Street Sects and it sums up this album. No. You’re not ready, but that’s all the more reason you need to listen.

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You’ll be seeing this on my year end lists, for sure!

James Mitchell