Throw Your Phone in the River
KEN mode backstory
KEN mode have been trading in punishing, caustic hardcore and noise rock for 23 years now, and the Canadians have amassed an extensive discography in the process.
Throw Your Phone in the River is the latest single to be taken from Null, the quartet’s eighth album and the first release to feature collaborator Kathryn Kerr (saxophone, synth, piano, percussion, backing vocals) as a full-fledged member of the band.
Inspired by “the bleakest days of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Null has seen the Winnipeg act – which was formed by brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson in 1999 – introduce No Wave and industrial influences to their sound.
In frontman Jesse Matthewson’s own words
“‘I can’t help you if I can’t even help myself. I’m drowning in this cyclical mess, and it just won’t finish me off.’
“This is pretty much the sentiment of this one.
“I wrote it in about an hour one afternoon in the thick of the worst part of 2020. Just banged it all out.
“It felt perfect in its simplicity.”
The verdict on Throw Your Phone in the River
KEN mode have captured the sense of desolation of the pandemic’s darkest days… but in typical fashion, they’ve done it with the kind of churning rhythmic assault that few likeminded acts can match.
Indeed, Throw Your Phone in the River is noise rock born from pent-up frustration, a tense two minutes in which Jesse Matthewson dials up the intensity with every word.
It’s prime KEN mode.
What’s next for KEN mode?
Null will be released on Artoffact Records on September 23.
The band are embarking on an extensive North American tour next month in support of the record, starting at St Paul, Minnesota on October 20 and concluding on November 12 with a show in Fargo, North Dakota.
Photo by Brenna Faris Photography.