Charlotte, NC, my hometown, is responsible for the clusterfuck of creative greatness that is Kato. On their debut EP, “Came With Nothing / Left With Nothing,” they blur the lines of hardcore, post-metal, and instrumental music, for a mix that is innovative—to say the very least. From the dad/arena-rock drum intro to “The Room” (which sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins, if The Smashing Pumpkins masturbated to Anton LaVey), to the haunting, ISIS-worshipping title track, this album is full of creative outbursts that are always surprises, but never unwelcome ones.

“2:37” experiments with emotional/melodic hardcore, taking cues from bands like Touché Amoré or La Dispute, and uses a wall of reverb-soaked guitar to wrap up the listener, in-between aggressive, metal-influenced punk. “Walking Out” presents a darker, more metallic edge to Kato that drones through 3:41 of anxious, frustrating, sludgy post-metal, while “I Will Repeat My Mistakes” is almost a Spazz-esque powerviolence track, clocking in at 1:01. And, as I mentioned, the title track is a post-metal standard, reminiscent slightly of darker instrumental bands like godspeed you black emperor! and works its way through eight full minutes.

The only complaint I have with the album is also one of its strongest suits: it’s scattered. There’s no single, cohesive sound, and none of the songs very similar. With their next effort, after tightening up the sounds they want to keep, I’m excited to see what Kato becomes. Great debut.