KURO - NEON
Industrial, Pop Fronted by 21 year old Kuro with bassist J.B. Storm and guitarist Kieran Robertson by his side, KURO is one of the more eye-catching acts to have emerged in Glasgow’s dark underground recently. Not only have they opened shows for the likes of Jayce Lewis and Aesthetic Perfection, but their live sets easily thrive on style alone thanks to the androgynous glamour of their look. Appearances aside, these guys are all about angsty industrial pop that’s loud and in your face, and their debut EP NEON is finally here to prove it.

The first track of four, ‘Don’t Stop (Give It To Me)’ starts with a pulsing techno beat and rippling electronic sounds. Once the intro’s got your attention, the song rapidly changes gears as a crunching guitar riff and bass overdrive kick in. Kuro’s deep tone oozes with confidence all throughout, although the occasional use of voice distortion switches things up every now and then and is definitely one of the song’s more menacing features. It’s a solid introduction, yet somehow it never quite takes off as fully as it feels like it should.

 ‘Mirrors’ does a much better job of standing out in that respect. This track dives right in with more pronounced drums coming into play as a Rob Zombie style industrial metal groove mounts the tension. There’s some crossover in terms on genre for this one too, especially since the verses contain elements of hip hop that would be right at home in mainstream clubs. In some ways the chorus seems a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the song, but the bondage imagery in the lyrics definitely contributes to the overall edgy feel of it.


Speaking of choruses, ‘Neon Demon’ has the best one in my opinion. The title is pretty flashy in itself, yet what ultimately sells this track are the futuristic synths and the way the main hook bounces back and forth between robotic speech and Kuro’s own vocals which are as red hot as the EP cover itself. On the other hand, ‘Tear It Down’ takes things down a notch and is well-placed as the final track. There’s almost a “Babble babble bitch bitch” resemblance in the verses here to Marilyn Manson’s ‘This is the New Shit’, plus the melodic progression and rhythmic breaks in the bridge add a nice touch of ambience too.

Perhaps it’s a minor detail, but I feel like this EP is slightly let down by song structure. With the exception of ‘Neon Demon’, the bridges tend to be instrumental breakdowns, which works well in ‘Mirrors’ and ‘Tear It Down’, but ‘Don’t Stop (Give It To Me)’ could’ve used something more elaborate. That said, a lot of the right ingredients are already there, and if KURO experiment with different vocal styles and heavier production it might just be what’s missing to give these tracks that extra bit of substance. It’s early days, but KURO are already defining their own sound and giving industrial pop a modern makeover in the process.

4
Brutal Resonance

KURO - NEON

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2019
Fronted by 21 year old Kuro with bassist J.B. Storm and guitarist Kieran Robertson by his side, KURO is one of the more eye-catching acts to have emerged in Glasgow’s dark underground recently. Not only have they opened shows for the likes of Jayce Lewis and Aesthetic Perfection, but their live sets easily thrive on style alone thanks to the androgynous glamour of their look. Appearances aside, these guys are all about angsty industrial pop that’s loud and in your face, and their debut EP NEON is finally here to prove it.

The first track of four, ‘Don’t Stop (Give It To Me)’ starts with a pulsing techno beat and rippling electronic sounds. Once the intro’s got your attention, the song rapidly changes gears as a crunching guitar riff and bass overdrive kick in. Kuro’s deep tone oozes with confidence all throughout, although the occasional use of voice distortion switches things up every now and then and is definitely one of the song’s more menacing features. It’s a solid introduction, yet somehow it never quite takes off as fully as it feels like it should.

 ‘Mirrors’ does a much better job of standing out in that respect. This track dives right in with more pronounced drums coming into play as a Rob Zombie style industrial metal groove mounts the tension. There’s some crossover in terms on genre for this one too, especially since the verses contain elements of hip hop that would be right at home in mainstream clubs. In some ways the chorus seems a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the song, but the bondage imagery in the lyrics definitely contributes to the overall edgy feel of it.


Speaking of choruses, ‘Neon Demon’ has the best one in my opinion. The title is pretty flashy in itself, yet what ultimately sells this track are the futuristic synths and the way the main hook bounces back and forth between robotic speech and Kuro’s own vocals which are as red hot as the EP cover itself. On the other hand, ‘Tear It Down’ takes things down a notch and is well-placed as the final track. There’s almost a “Babble babble bitch bitch” resemblance in the verses here to Marilyn Manson’s ‘This is the New Shit’, plus the melodic progression and rhythmic breaks in the bridge add a nice touch of ambience too.

Perhaps it’s a minor detail, but I feel like this EP is slightly let down by song structure. With the exception of ‘Neon Demon’, the bridges tend to be instrumental breakdowns, which works well in ‘Mirrors’ and ‘Tear It Down’, but ‘Don’t Stop (Give It To Me)’ could’ve used something more elaborate. That said, a lot of the right ingredients are already there, and if KURO experiment with different vocal styles and heavier production it might just be what’s missing to give these tracks that extra bit of substance. It’s early days, but KURO are already defining their own sound and giving industrial pop a modern makeover in the process.

Jun 08 2019

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Anni Payne

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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