American hard rockers Kind have delivered a swirling, swoonsome smorgasbord of sound on new album Close Encounters, taking the listener on an exhilarating magic carpet ride through a universe of churning riffs, lithe n’lissom percussive barrages and enough little touches of prog genius to keep things interesting and the listener on their toes. It is, in toto, a perfect mix of colours, sounds and sonic shapes. And it’s going to take a lot to wrench it from the Sentinel Daily Office Stereo over the coming weeks and months!

Starting with the more straightforward bump n’grind of Burn Scar – unrestricted riff warfare only leavened by rich vocal harmonies – is a wise move as it allows the band to grow the album from this musical ground zero. And build they do, taking in pure heaviness (Favorite One’s opening riffs can only be described in one word – stentorian), the freewheeling indie melodiousness of Snag and just straight ahead good stuff (closer Pacino) to provide an all-encompassing listening experience.

Seriously, this is a band that leaves no stone unturned as it explores the possibility of what’s left to be done with a saturated genre like ‘stoner metal’; And, whilst they maintain all the tropes necessary for the music to identify as such, they really stretch the medium, moulding it to their will with rare skill. There’s a woozy, serpentine quality to tracks like Black Yesterday, where the band create a mesmeric, comparitively low key wall of sound that builds and builds, whilst still leaving enough space for the band to make twists and turns without ever losing sight of the core of the song. It’s incredibly well put together, and extremely well executed.

Craig Riggs is possessed of a supple, versatile voice that can handle anything the band throws it’s way; which is quite a lot, as it goes, as the power trio that makes up the rest of the band  – Matt Couto (drums), bassist Tom Corino and guitarist Darryl Shepard – jag and weave through their repertoire with energy and style. When the quartet lock in and just go for it, as they do on the motoring Power Grab, which sounds tantalisingly like Bob Mould trying his hand at a bit of desert rock, it’s impossible to resist and you find yourself just letting the glorious noise envelop you from the ears down…

Even if you don’t count yourself as much of a fan of the stoner end of things, you’ll find yourself drawn in and captivated by Close Encounters. Great stuff!

Close Encounters releases on August 11th.