Seattle riff-mongers Kinski had been pushing out heavier and heavier hard psych sounds since their late-'90s formation by the time their productivity slowed following their 2007 album Down Below It's Chaos. While the band still played sporadically and released one-off collaborative recordings, five years passed between that album and sixth full-length Cosy Moments. In that time, Kinski switched labels, moving from Sub Pop to their next-door neighbor Kill Rock Stars, and also migrated somewhat stylistically, dropping the crunchier metal leanings of their last few albums for a more pop-infused look at their rolling, jagged psychedelic explorations. The most immediately noticeable difference here is the presence of bandleader Chris Martin's vocals. While Kinski had dabbled with vocals in the past, they were largely instrumental, tending toward the sprawling instead of the often concise pieces that make up Cosy Moments. While the album starts strong with the lingering expansion of "Long Term Exit Strategy," things quickly take a turn for the generic. Sharp blasts of Pacific Northwestern punk like "Last Day on Earth" and "Skim MILF" are heavy on inventive guitar tones but otherwise lacking in any originality, with bonehead lyrics and tired song structures reducing them to bar band material. The brooding grunge feel of "Throw It Up" recalls the stony boredom of Thurston Moore's Psychic Hearts album as the lyrics paint a picture of life after youth in a town that feels like it's eternally shrinking. It's dismal but feels more inspired and connective than when the band nudges up the tempo on peppy but lackluster numbers like "Conflict Free Diamonds" and "Let Me Take You Through My Thought Process." Experimentation with guitar tone and subtle synth freakouts save these songs from complete oblivion, but they still sound dated and somehow unfinished. Though it's good to hear a band this far into its career trying new things, Kinski still sound best when they're stretching out into longer, moodier pieces of cloudy rock. There are enough strong sections like that to keep Cosy Moments afloat, but fans might be turned off by the attempts at pop that don't quite hit the mark.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas