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When Owen Staszewski isn’t pounding the drums in Ruby The Hatchet, he’s at the mic for another band of heavy rocking Philadelphians – Kiska. The new four-piece is actually relatively seasoned; it formed from the ashes, as the expression goes, of Philly modern rock outfit Desoto Jones. That long-running band had been experiencing shifts in lineup as well as sonic directions, and last year came to the conclusion that it had become a different band altogether. Rounded out by Owen’s brother Adam Staszewski on guitar, alongside bassist Ean Kyler and drummer Adam Francois, Kiska was born, and set to work recording its debut LP.

The songs the band recorded at WXPN for this week’s Key Studio Session are heavy and anthemic, led by Owen’s stratospheric vocals and Adam’s aggressive guitar textures. It’s a bit Soundgarden, a bit Jane’s Addiction, stemming from places of both frustration and life-affirming joy, exemplified nicely in “Liberation Day (Fool’s Gold)” and “Absentee” – the latter of which is being debuted here for the first time. The live energy you hear in these takes will be all the more palpable in person at the band’s upcoming local shows leading up to its LP release – which we’ve gotten word is happening later on this year on the Seattle-based independent Spartan Records (home of Mae, Sense Field and more).

Stream the session below, download the entire set at Soundcloud, and catch Kiska live at one of their two upcoming gigs. They headline MilkBoy this Saturday, April 18th, and will play Boot and Saddle on Sunday, May 3rd, opening for Unwed; tickets and information on both shows can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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