Shaken, not stirred

Have you ever been to one of those new wave sushi joints that overstuffs its rolls with all sorts of seemingly disparate ingredients? Most of the combinations are as terrible as they sound, but you know there has to be at least one that is transcendent? Blak Emoji is that one.

Blak Emoji
Intro EP

Kelsey Warren combines R&B, Pretty Hate Machine-era industrial noise, funk, elektro pop and hard rock riffage into an intoxicating stew. He and his band don't so much assimilate the influences as give them room to communicate with each other.

This should lead to disjointed songs with no flow. Instead, each section seems to melt into the next, with the resulting (usually loud) climax fully earned. I've been hearing more and more folks attempt this sort of anti-genre sound, but Blak Emoji is one of the first to fully embrace such a wide palette with so much success.

In the end, this is one hell of a party album. One with a lot to say both musically and lyrically. Kelsey Warren has been wandering around the New York scene for a while. It sounds like he finally has found a home. Exceptional.

Jon Worley

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