ALBUM REVIEW: Kaonashi – Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year

Release Date: May 21st 2021
Label: Equal Vision Records


With vocals akin to Raised Fist‘s Alexander Hageman, riffs ringing back to old Coheed & Cambria, and time signatures as hectic and unpredictable as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kaonashi have created a catchy yet chaotic masterpiece with their debut album, ‘Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year’.

Kaonashi waste no time on any kind of elaborate intro, but instead straight up dive into the manic frenzy that they’ve been known to cause over the years. ‘T.A.Y.L.O.R.’ is, like any song that comes after it, something that needs listening to more than once to fully grasp what is happening and not be alienated by the amount of different sounds instead. But, once you get into it, your head will be bopping, in quite frankly unusual tempos, all the way through.

The record jumps back into the story that the band started telling on their 2018 EP, ‘Why Did You Do It?’, with protagonist Jamie more or less “suffering through life” having adapted traumas and experiences from every band member. Once you settle into Kaonashi‘s sound, a general pattern starts to come forth for all of their songs, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any surprises left either.

The biggest one of them might be hidden on ‘A Recipe For A Meaningful Life’, and not because it’s unusually soft with some spoken word drizzled into the mix, but the guitar solo that at first feels a little random is actually absolutely stunning and a perfect fit.

The record finds its peak in the last three songs, with some of its hardest riffs being thrown around on the first part of the trilogy track, ‘The Underdog’. Choosing Part II to be an acoustic song seems like an odd placement instead of putting it as a closer, but it’s nevertheless a gorgeous arrangement musically, though the lyrics seem to have taken a bit of a dip on this one.

‘Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year’ continues to cement Kaonashi as one of the most innovative bands of their genre. It might just take a few spins to get you to realise that, but once you’ve grasped it you’ll never want to let go.