Kina

Reviews

Kina Se Ho Vinto Se Ho Perso LP reissue

Refreshingly, I don’t know a damn thing about this Italian hardcore band that started in the mid-’80s. This was their fourth LP, and it’s an interesting example of the time period. KINA’s sound sources its inspiration from Washington DC’s world-famous post-hardcore scene; bands like DAG NASTY, SWIZ, and SOULSIDE. The band can still rock pretty hard, but they tend towards melodic guitar lines that complement the earnest vocals. Recalling the HATED, KINA is not afraid of acoustic guitar and other “un-punk” elements. A track like “Cosa Farete” is closer to morose college rock than, say, INDIGESTI, but you can imagine them playing a show together at some thatched-roof squat on an abandoned farm outside of Turin. Interestingly, KINA’s mix of these influences prefigures a band that would become massive on an underground level less than a decade later—AVAIL. There’s a similar anthemic quality that is pretty damn hard to pull off convincingly, but KINA manages.

Kina Parlami Ancora LP reissue

Probably the most melodic KINA release, 1992’s Parlami Ancora owes a heavy debt to late ’80s USHC while cementing KINA’s status as one of the best unheralded ’80s Italian HC/punk bands.  While I’m still going to reach for the unhinged mania of Irreale Realtá damn near every time, the fact that KINA was able to progress and develop their sound and still create songs that are in-your-face and compelling. Wildly catchy and energetic punk, like a bit of MOVING TARGETS and mid-era HÜSKERs mingling with UPRIGHT CITIZENS and EA80…but still an Italian hardcore band. Most of their catalog is still relatively easy to come by, and these reissues make it even easier. High praise.

Kina Troppo Lontano e Altre Storie LP

Matt, Ken, and Andrew put KINA into historical context last month while touching on three other LP reissues from one of Italy’s most often overlooked but arguably essential acts. This one is a reissue of a 1996 CD that was in turn a collection of the Troppo Lontano EP (1987) and splits with the ACT, HOETH CASTLE and the SPHERE recorded between ’87-’91. While the off-the-rails Italian rage is tempered slightly, and Billy Bragg and/or HÜSKER DÜ-styled acoustic numbers appear on both sides, this is still an essential blast that chronicles the birth and growth of a band who’s importance is probably more pronounced in hindsight than it ever was at the time. Perhaps it’s precisely the acoustic tracks and the temperance that make this one so good. Not every band warrants the reissue treatment, but KINA most certainly does.

Kina Cercando LP

Blues, thrash, HC thrash, fast punk, pop punk, jazz, speedcore… you name it, they do it. For such a variety of influences, KINA seems to pull it off, lending their “sound” to all styles, providing a continuity. Eclectic and yet maintaining an edge.

Kina Nessuno Schema Nella Mia Vita cassette

Frantic and jazzy, while unrelentingly pounding, this is yet another recent attractive entry to the hardcore world from Italy. The songs tend to be longish (and remind me ever-so-slightly of REALLY RED), but there’s enough melody to sustain that, especially given the power with which they hammer home the material. Good.