We know that Troy Petty is drawn to music which seems to wallow in a bleakness, to a washed out and harsh sonic pathway that is both beautifully stark and starkly beautiful and this time out he seems to wander even further down such shadowed byways. Kept seems to weave its slow burning ways from a Bauhausian minimalism, all sharp edges and the acrid taste of metal, to a more driven industrial-gothic sound, one that embraces rock and roll idioms but which neatly swerves its cliches.
The result is a bleak and blasted song that is both understated and over-wrought, groovesome yet agitated, cool but richly constructed as the mood takes it. It takes in the early sounds of punk-gothique, the strange machinations that led to the New Romantic bloom, the directness of punk, the drive of rock and even that same clinical, non-human vibe that was found at the heart of nu-metal. And whilst it hints at all these genres it commits itself to none of them. The building blocks of Troy Petty’s music are easily identified but no one has deconstructed these genres and reassembled the component parts quite like this before, proving we don’t need to invent new genres, we just need to keep destroying and rebuilding the ones that have served us so well all of these years.