Album Review: Kaonashi- The 3 Faces of Beauty: A Violent Misinterpretation of Morgan Montgomery

4/5

Pennsylvania outfit Kaonashi has a story to tell. The early to mid 2000’s reminiscent metalcore band is back with their new EP The 3 Faces of Beauty: A Violent Misinterpretation of Morgan Montgomery, the follow-up to 2021’s Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year. One of the greatest things about this band is that they’re building a world with characters through their releases. The 3 Faces of Beauty is a continuation of the story of Morgan Montgomery, the antagonist from Lemon House High.

Chaotic album opener, “Humiliation Ritual” tells us about Morgan Montgomery’s origin while also covering the topic of discrimination. The track is laid out in a very verbatim manner, so you can see what’s happening as Morgan is walking down a street and all of the anxiety he feels in doing so. The song starts with vocalist Peter Rono shouting “So I cross the street, school just let out it’s busy. So I cross the street, there’s too many fucking people.” Exasperated shouting paired with noisy, chaotic drums and guitars provides the listener with an appropriate representation of how Morgan’s feeling at the time. The song continues, with his anxiety building saying “Should I cross the street?” which turns into “Don’t cross the street.” The song ends with the lines “I’m scared of everyone and everyone is scared of me. No matter which way I go, it’s a one way street. It’s a one way street. It’s a one way street. I still haven’t found peace.” The entire track is a rollercoaster, with the repetition of various lines throughout the song enhancing the feelings of a panic attack that seems like it will never end.

Continuing with Morgan’s story is the debut single for the EP, “I Hate The Sound of Car Keys”. The most heavy track on the album and coming in at 2:40, the song gives us a glimpse into Morgan’s seemingly traumatic home life. Rono keeps with the repetition aspect of his writing with “Yelling, Swinging, Punching, Drinking, Smoking, Yelling, Swinging, Punching, Drinking, Smoking. Yelling and swinging and punching and drinking and snorting and smoking.” Rono’s delivery is exasperated and keeps reminding you of just how anxious Morgan Montgomery really is. The title of the song is mentioned later with “Oh my god, look at what you did to me. Oh my god, I hate the sound of car keys.” The line really signifies what the sound of car keys can mean: an authority figure coming home and being uncertain of what will come next. The song ends with Morgan feeling bitter and angry with the lines “And another thing, At least Jamie had Jackie, At least you had a big brother to show you right from wrong. I was given a broken compass and a torn map Fuck it.” Morgan looks at what everyone else has and what he’s left with and is feeling he got the short end of things. The anger and anxiety portrayed through the lyrics is only amplified by the abrasive, dizzying guitars and blast beats.

The 3 Faces of Beauty is an intense, anxiety riddled journey. It’s a coming of age story about growth and anger that’s not for the faint of heart. The EP is an apt continuation in Kaonashi’s world and character development. 

The 3 Faces of Beauty: A Violent Misinterpretation of Morgan Montgomery is out January 26 on Equal Vision Records.

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