sample track: Stray Bullets Singing "It's not what you say, but who you give it to" (cut down to 3 minutes)
*screech* .... *screech* ...
First off, P.T. Anderson > Coen brothers. Second off, There Will be Blood > No Country for Old Men. And even if you disagree on the first two (in which case I'm going Daniel Plainview on your ass), there can be no doubt that There Will be Blood's soundtrack pisses all over No Country for Old Men's, and the only thing more intense than those violins is Daniel Day Lewis's performance.
I bring all this up because Kingdom Shore's ...And All the Dogs to Shark takes the most intense ideas from Greenwood's score (which is already pretty fucking intense) and goes apeshit with them. The end result sounds like a string quartet getting pushed through a wood-chipper (that was for the Coen brothers fans). Opener "Stray Bullets Singing 'It's not what you say, but who you give it to'" is relentless with its application of aggressive and unsettling techniques. Franticly plucked violins crash violently into sweeping high pitched crescendos which in turn tumble back into awkwardly quiet plucking and bowing all in the span of fifteen seconds. The track is just under thirteen minutes long, but is as extreme and uncompromising in the last five seconds as it is in the first. Subsequent tracks vary in length but little else.
While I commend Kingdom Shore for this ceaseless ferocity, one consequence of such vehemence is that the album can be pretty difficult to handle at times. Unlike Greenwood's score, in which periods of high tension give way to release, ...And All the Dogs to Shark never eases up. Even when a track is at its most minimal, the anticipation of a violin stab cutting into the track at any moment maintains the tension. An impressive accomplishment, but unfortunately not every listener is going to like being afraid of what's coming next on the track.
My friend Andrew said of There Will Be Blood something like "That was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen ... but I will probably never watch it again." Kingdom Shore's latest is indeed a very impressive album, and you probably should listen to it at least once. However, for most people one listen will probably be more than enough.