LA natives and LA Music Blog darlings Kiven have had a hell of a year. Betweeen their self-titled debut album dropping, their single “In The Fire” reaching #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only countdown, and a spot at SXSW leading into a tour that continues to sprawl across the western United States, an April residency at Hollywood’s Hemingway’s Lounge (with last Wednesday’s show presented by LA Music Blog) is pure icing on the cake.
We loved them at Los Globos and enjoyed hanging with them in the LA Music Blogcast studio so much, we invited them back for a second appearance on the show; how much do you suppose we enjoyed them in the super-cool, library-like Hemingway’s Lounge?
If you guessed “a lot,” well, congratulations, you’ve been paying attention. Hemingway’s is small, but a cozy setting only amplifies the effect of a band like Kiven, what with all their throbbing bass and piercing guitar and general post-grunge heaviness. I often experience a little atmospheric dissonance covering music in LA, having attended concerts in such unlikely places as the LA Zoo and the middle of the danged street, but hearing hard-ass progressive rock smack in the middle of a room filled with books from floor to ceiling rivals any unusual experience I’ve had so far.
Kiven treated the sizable (particularly for a Wednesday night) audience to my personal favorite of their songs, “I Can Take It,” which I believe is typical of Kiven at their very best: guitar-heavy, minor-keyed progressive rock, a little like Tool featuring the piercing melodic guitar of Rage Against The Machine. This was my first time seeing Kiven live, and in person, I got less of the ethereal dreaminess of their record in favor of an almost ’90s throwback hard-rockingness à la The Cranberries.
Kiven continues to conquer the West through the spring, with dates from Boise to Salt Lake City and parts between. We’ve gone on about them enough, for crying out loud; isn’t it about time you checked them out?