KEN mode has released harrowing new single, “Unresponsive,” from its upcoming eighth album, NULL.
A relentless dirge, “Unresponsive” features frontman Jesse Matthewson unleashing a tormented soliloquy that hits like Henry Rollins at his most confessional. “Forgotten, erased, unresponsive, replaced, abandoned,” he chants.
Matthewson recalls the origins of the song: “At this phase of the pandemic I had begun having dreams about my partner leaving me and my family dying, probably five nights a week, for several months. I sat there, writing the lyrics to this one while listening to a rolling storm come in, that never seemed to actually reach a crescendo. It all felt too apt for the way everything had been feeling for the last year at that point.”
The track’s sparse, machine-like pulse, peppered by hints of cello and clanking percussion, points to early industrial and No Wave influences, beyond the metallic hardcore and noise-rock for which KEN mode is known.
Matthewson credits the COVID-19 pandemic with pushing the band to take new chances and explore new ground: “We felt like there was really no reason to do anything at all unless we were trying to push this into something new,” he states. Recorded and mixed by Andrew Schneider (Cave In, Unsane), NULL is the first KEN mode release to feature collaborator Kathryn Kerr (saxophone, synth, piano, percussion, backing vocals) as a full-fledged member of the band.
Founded by Matthewson and his brother Shane, KEN mode has come to define intensity and dedication, via tours with Russian Circles, Torche, and Full of Hell, and releases produced by the likes of Steve Albini, Kurt Ballou, and Matt Bayles. Upcoming new album NULL sees this warhorse of a band emerge from the darkest of times with new energy, evolved and ready to carry on into its next chapter.
Among many other honors earned throughout its long career, KEN mode now occupies the highly coveted cover of Decibel Magazine (October 2022).
The band embarks on a US tour in October, with support from Frail Body (Deathwish Inc).
Oct 20 – St Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Oct 21 – Davenport, IA @ Raccoon Motel
Oct 22 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
Oct 23 – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing Co.
Oct 24 – Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar
Oct 25 – Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR
Oct 26 – Little Rock, AR @ Vino’s
Oct 27 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
Oct 28 – Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
Oct 29 – Houston, TX @ Black Magic
Oct 30 – Denton, TX @ No Coast Fest
Oct 31 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Nov 2 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Nov 3 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
Nov 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Silk City
Nov 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Nov 6 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Nov 7 – Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
Nov 8 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
Nov 9 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
Nov 10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Nov 12 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium