Missed Connection - Kali Masi Breaks Out In 2021 with New Album Full of Driving Rock Tunes

4.6 out of 5 stars

Kali Masi may not be a band most people are familiar with, and they are relatively newcomers as they formed around 2015 in Chicago, and they have been putting out music and playing pretty much non-stop since (aside from the long shutdown during 2020, of course).

The new album [laughs] fills up your speaker with volume and energy much like the best songs of Taking Back Sunday do but with the lyrical composition more of a band like Alkaline Trio.

The first song on the album, “Still Life,” jumps right in with some pretty banging instrumentation, and one of the most lyric-packed songs I have seen this year.

The overall message of the song and album seem to be focusing on how to live a life in a community where relationships are filled with regret of either time lost, not being able to connect wholly or being on a different page entirely.

The relationships aren’t always between people as the setting of a Midwest life within a small town or small community play an important role in the songs - much like a John Hughes movie. 

This is especially apparent in the song “Guilt Like A Gun” which talks about how the strain on a relationship can come from the life that surrounds the two subjects as much as exists between them.

The band seemingly can move from anything heavy back down to a more straightforward rock sound and even dabble on the higher end of punk music, but I don’t think you can call them a punk band as that would imply there is a certain limitation on the music.

The lyrics themselves lead you to believe that the band is more of a story-based rock band the likes of great acts like Foo Fighters or Queens of the Stone Age.

One of the most interesting songs on the album lyrically is “Long Term” which describes the mind games played between people. Lines like this one speak pretty profoundly: 

You euthanized my will to fight and understand
The leash outlives it’s dog
You’re tattooed into my waistband
Gaslit by your own lamplighter
The happy medium predicts he’s a fucking liar

Recurring (I)” is probably one of the most lyrically and musically complex songs on the album, and it is probably my favorite as well. My favorite part of the song comes from these lines that lead into a bit of a musical breakdown:

And when I die
They’ll burn my bones to ash and they’ll sing Amazing Grace
And when you die
They’ll bury you with all that money that you saved
And hold their noses pouring concrete on your grave
I’m not ashamed to live and I’m not afraid to die
That song I sing will harmonize:
The world of which we were born into is not the one we’ll leave behind

The album ends with “The Stray” which equates a relationship to being a dog on a leash and how the one who controls the leash has a power that is addictive like a drug and keeps the dog wanting to be controlled. As the lyrics say, “I’ll miss thе pull of the prongs in my collar, and how that felt like someone cared.”  Pretty deep.

Definitely an album I would suggest, and dig back into their first album if you haven’t heard of Kali Masi. I full expect them to keep getting bigger and bigger over the coming years.

Every so often, we miss a new album release as there are literally hundreds of albums that come out each year. It’s hard to catch them all unless you are paying very close attention. In times like this, we try to go back on what fell through the cracks. These are the “missed connections” that we try to follow up.

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