Home Read Classic Album Review: Kitchens & Bathrooms | Utter A Sound

Classic Album Review: Kitchens & Bathrooms | Utter A Sound

This Hamilton outfit somehow finds the sweet spot between math-rock and GBV.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


I have heard plenty of math-rock. And I have certainly heard plenty of Guided By Voices. But I’ve never heard a band combine the two until I heard Utter A Sound, the debut full-length from Hamilton’s Kitchens and Bathrooms.

Most of the time, this trio is your basic math-rock ensemble: Their songs are full of the usual angular guitar chop, prime-number time signatures, hairpin-turn arrangements and precise, well-rehearsed performances. If you’ve heard Shellac or Don Caballero or even some of Rush’s more introspective moments, you know the drill. But then, every so often, one of the guys busts loose with a vocal straight out of a Guided By Voices record — some sort of weird non-sequitur lyrics, yelled in a sorta faux British accent and recorded in underproduced lo-fi. It’s as if Robert Pollard was being held hostage by Steve Albini and forced at gunpoint to sing from inside a closet. Now that’s a new solution to the old math-rock equation if I’ve ever heard one.