If you’ve been cranking your neck, ready to let loose to some absolutely astral-ass sasscore in the mosh pit that is your living room, you’d better start stretching.
Reliably heralded as one of Australia’s premier experimental mathcore bands, Basil’s Kite is back with their first record in nearly seven years, and there’s no getting around it – it just might be their craziest yet.
There is thrash. There is math rock. There is prog. There are beatdowns and skank riffs. Whether you’re here for the band’s evolution, or just an innocent bystander happy to be engulfed in the constant barrage of sonic wreckage, it’s high quality stuff, and opens with one of the most bemusing intros we’ve heard this year. But don’t just take it from us – enjoy the exclusive stream of Shooting Tsars below, with a complete song-by-song breakdown by the band to wash it down.
Here’s the breakdown by the band:
Myself and Jacob went through a very intense period in 2015 where we were studying music theory all the time and digging into Bach and similar composers. One brutally hungover morning after a party at his then partner’s house, we woke up and took our instruments outside and just wrote this random baroque sketch. We showed the others and they were confused but found it funny. Between 2015 and 2018 we used to open every single set with it. Sometime in 2016 Jono started singing over the guitar line and then it became a recurring thing. This was a very last minute addition to the album, I’m glad we stuck it on because it deserves its time in the sun.
“Sun Is Smiling”
Being a mathcore band from a coastal city during the mid 2010’s we found ourselves in the midst of surf rock hysteria. At the time, characterizing ourselves as tragic neckbeards who like to sit inside and peer out the windows, we decided to write a song about failing to engage with the world, and we set it at the beach.
We had a ball writing this one, the bulk of it was written in a single night at a rehearsal room in the industrial area of Wollongong. This was back when we didn’t use computers to demo anything, just kept it all in our brains. Absolute freak behavior. The filming of this music video was a fun but harrowing experience, in the scene where I am killed and disemboweled I had the sublime joy of having real meat shoved into my clothes. Then pulled out, then shoved in again, then pulled out, repeating over and over. Under the lights and over the course of an hour the meat started to go really off and smelt so bad by the end. Jacob holding back vomit, it was so disgusting, I went and had a shower afterwards and there was meat all across the tiles of my bathroom. We have a tradition of filming music videos at share houses and I’m so pleased this place that Isaac and I shared is immortalized in this video.
This is one of the oldest songs that we have on the album, and probably the song that best represents our transition from Basil’s Kite ‘the Math Rock Emo Cap’n Jazz band’ to Basil’s Kite the heavy band. We played this instrumental for probably 6 years until one evening in 2020 when Christian from Dark Trail Records suggested we put words on it for the album. We’re all extremely glad he did. When I was writing the jarring section between :18 and :42, all I remember is so badly wanting to be melodies-era Tera Melos. My intention was to freak people out, but despite my best efforts people always really loved this song when we played it live.
Basil’s Kites first ever mathcore song. Jonathan and myself, armed with the knowledge from Arpmandudes Guitar Dojo (Psyopus), and our new found love of Dillinger Escape Plan, set out to make our own version of the genre we so love. We fell in love with dissonance and wrote this song in half an hour on acoustic guitars to a very pissed off audience of house mates who just wanted to play Skyrim quietly. A deeply traumatic song about dealing with the guilt of hurting an animal as a child. Jacob really shines on this vocally.
In the early days of Basil’s Kite, around 2014, Jacob used to sing in a band called Kochanski with friend of the band Jack Reilly. Jacob was amazing as a frontman, the first time I saw them live, the band started and Jacob instantly tackled me to the ground. I was ecstatic to be tackled to the ground and was so taken by his performance as a frontman I set about writing a song where Jacob could take 100% vocal duties.
The most newest and the most microtonal of all of the tracks on this album. This was our audition piece for Isaac, when we heard what he did to the passage that’s in 19:8 and then 17:8 we knew he was the one. Features a pretty vocal refrain from Jacob at the end and a very mathematical outro. Curious to see if any listeners can pick up what’s going on there.
We did paid promo for this video on facebook and got absolutely torn apart by Ukrainian and Russian boomers online. They were so upset, so many hate reacts and so many mean things said. They would post something in Ukrainian and we would click translate and they would be saying things like “DISGUSTING” “Mentally ill people”. Upon reflection promoting it to age groups 18-80 is kinda guaranteed to yield some nasty responses, but I have some older musician friends and I’m not about to start being ageist.
In so many words, there you have it. As harrowing as the lore may sound, the results have been worth it – Basil’s Kite have yielded one of the most high-flying and entertaining records of the year thus far with Shooting Tsars.
Pre-order there album here, and don’t forget to check out all the other juicy offerings from Dark Trail Records here. Buy us a coffee here too if you want to keep up -coming up we’ve got Endless, Nameless, twitch streams, and a while lot more. Thanks for reading!