Following on the heels of the artistic broad jumps the band has exhibited since forming in 2001, Exhausting Fire hurls even more rulebook pages out the tour van window as Kylesa further explore and incorporate psychedelic rock, new wave, space-age twangy Americana, 80s goth and death rock into their pitch-thick DIY punk/metal roots. But as much as change is a constant in their world, there exists connective tissue to the past despite Exhausting Fire being the most diverse, dynamic and fully-realized work of their discography.
In writing Exhausting Fire, the trio found themselves culling inspirations before getting together in various permutations at various times to wade through the amassed collections of riffs and ideas stockpiled before, during and after the punishing Ultraviolet tour schedule. Another curve Exhausting Fire throws at the listener is the manner in which the co-vocalists emerge sounding infinitely more comfortable and confident working as an integrative unit. The pair expertly dodge and weave around one another as an homage to the stratified spirit of their psychedelic influences while respecting the context of the song.
Captured at the familiar confines of the Jam Room in Columbia, SC, Exhausting Fire sees the trio immersing themselves deeper into themselves and their own process by refusing to hire an outside producer to assume Copeâ€™s position. In fact, he reports having additional engineering duties dropped into his production seat, and spending more hours than ever working behind the board. In that sense, itâ€™s not difficult to take the band at their word when Cope describes Exhausting Fire as â€œan album we really put our hearts on our sleeves for. Weâ€™ve always done that, but emotionally, itâ€™s probably the most honest and raw album weâ€™ve ever done.â€
â€œNo band sounds like us and we donâ€™t sound like any other band,â€ concludes Pleasants. â€œAfter all these years of experimenting with different styles and sounds, weâ€™ve really developed our own thing and I can faithfully say that we sound like us. With this album, weâ€™ve successfully made a record that incorporates all the elements weâ€™ve always played with into a record that works on its own.â€