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Kaddisfly - Set Sail the Prairie Review

by Matthew Hastie

Kaddisfly is hands down one of the more inventive bands around today. While for the large part of their career they have worked their asses off playing free shows at grange halls (the first time I saw them was such a show back in 2001) and other smaller venue, they have also changed greatly while not compromising who they are. The guys are from all over Oregon and have a very devout fan base there, and slowly but surely with the help of Vans' Warped Tour and the Take Action Tour, Kaddisfly is getting to be known around the US. Kaddisfly mixes ambient sound with hopeful, poetic lyrics to generate a sound rarely heard on the music scene. With each new album, Kaddisfly grows more as musicians and as human beings and create masterful art that tops each previous creation.

Their newest album, "Set Sail the Prairie" is no exception. The album title comes from their last album "Buy Our Intention; We'll Buy You a Unicorn" and in some ways is a continuation of it. There are very reminiscent scenes of nature throughout both albums however both albums are still their own complete works and not a rehash of old ideas. The album opens up with the sound of a campfire crackling and then soft guitars and vocals come in. While it is calm and serene during the song, the pace jumps up for the next song "Campfire". Kaddisfly have always incorporated huge choruses into their songs that are commanded by vocalist Chris Ruff's huge voice. Like a wave coming in with a sudden rush of energy, track three "Waves" settles the groove back down but picks up again in the chorus.

As much as I love Kaddisfly's work, I feel that the neglect some of their heavier songs they used to play on their earlier albums. "Tribal", which was featured on a few EPs and as a hidden track on their album "Did You Know People Can Fly?", was one of my favorite songs by Kaddisfly. On "Set Sail the Prairie" the band really opens up with the song "Snowflakes" which is just a phenomenal song. Album closer "Forest" is another perfect example of Kaddisfly's ability to craft a beautiful 11 minute masterpiece that displays all their talents collectively as a band with guitarists Aaron Tollefson and Kelsey Kuther creating a perfect collection of guitar work. Drummer Beau Kuther is ever present with a very dancy beat at the beginning and then switching to large crashing drums, and again featuring Chris Ruff's soaring vocals (the song really picks up at 3:00). "Set Sail the Prairie" is a wonderfully crafted album and little can be done to better it, at least until the next album comes out.

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