"Doubt" by King Woman

February 17. 2015 | By Wayne Jessup

King Woman

King Woman
[The Flenser]

San Francisco”s Kristina Esfandiari, (ex-Whirr), in addition to her project Miserable, also fronts King Woman, and the new EP Doubt reaffirms her allegiance to the dark guitar side of things, as the follow up to last year’s Dove/Fond Affections EP dials back the length, but loses none of the intensity. With stellar contributions from guitarist Colin Gallagher (also from Miserable), Sky Madden of Chasms on bass, and Joey Raygoza on drums, it’s the overall mix that takes on best online casino secret weapon status. Recorded with engineer Patrick Hill and produced/mixed by Esfandiari, Doubt is scalding and hypnotic, as if King Woman were trying to find The Great Morass of Nothingness.

The vocals are treated like another instrument, mixed down EF Hutton style, but the effect when you dial in the lyrics is lacerating, unveiling a vicious stew of religious and personal alienation. “Wrong” is a slow burn start, evolving out of the ether, with the martial rhythm section unyielding at its conclusion. “King Of Swords” is a sea of churning guitars that summons up the torturous beauty of Boston’s Come. It’s a staggering jam where everything comes together, her high water mark. “Burn” maintains the fever pitch, before “Candescent Soul” provides the final ride, as a funhouse mirror version of the opener, bringing us full circle. It’s another milepost in the wild ride of Kristina Esfandiari. Regardless of what name she assigns any given project, the coherency of her vision is making for quite a body of work.

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