Since writing my ‘J’ post iTunes has been playing me a lot of James as if to admonish me for not including them. I therefore expect to be listening to a lot of Kingmaker and The Kinks soon as neither will feature in this post resigned as they are to my not-so-good collection. Surely then the fact that I am willing to ‘bump’ these two bands must mean I have a serious load of tunes in my ‘K’ section? Well, yes.
I’ll start with the Kaiser Chiefs debut album Employment – a box of tricks and thrills for all containing as it does such marvels as ‘I Predict A Riot’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’. Along with Franz Ferdinand I like to think that the Kaiser Chiefs were instrumental in reinvigorating the British indie scene which had been wallowing in a stagnant post-Brit Pop swamp for some time with only The Manic Street Preachers really holding the fort. Travis came close, but imho lost it after their first album by going down a wishy washy Elbow / Coldplay road. Anyhow I don’t really listen much the Kaiser Chiefs in actual fact because I find them a little boring after a while… moving on…
Kasabian are a Marmite band if ever there was one. I have had many a drunk argument with friends over the merits of this band, who to my mind are great, but then I also like Marmite so go figure. For the record I think their debut album is fantastic featuring such great tunes as ‘Reason is Treason’, ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)’ – which I strangely heard as a backing track to a ‘we can beat cancer’ advert and ‘Test Transmission’. Empire is a great second album featuring ‘Empire’ and ‘Shoot the Runner’ and a great blend of electronic beats and guitar riffs. I am a big PWEI fan so blends of styles of music don’t scare me in the slightest. I think some people don’t like Kasabian because they like to experiment and refuse to be tied down as just an indie rock band, but I can hear them now shouting ‘no they’re just crap!’
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum feels more like Kasabian’s first concept album with all the songs fitting together into a nice whole; I particularly like ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ – the title sounds like a nod to the Black Eyed Peas, but it isn’t. A bit lighter, Velociraptor! comes running out of the shadows of the Asylum to bite you squarely on the ass. The title track is as catchy as anything they’ve done and ‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’ and ‘Days Are Forgotten’ are also great. I am not disagreeing that the band themselves look and behave like complete dicks at times, but there no worse than The Arctic Monkeys or Coldplay for that matter in coming across as complete knobs. I prefer to just listen to the music and enjoy it for what it is, and anyway wait until I get to the even more divisive subject of Kula Shaker.
Actually let me do this now before I get back to seemingly safer ground. Kula Shaker’s first album K was a breath of fresh air as far as I was concerned and I couldn’t give a toss whether Crispian Mills is a posho or a blatant plunderer of hippiness past. I hadn’t heard the traditional songs before and was happy to listen to it and like The Seahorses I really don’t care if Mills nicked lyrics, tunes or riffs from other people. All the stuff on K sounds great as isolated tracks or as a whole big sum of its parts and boy can the band play their instruments. If I am forced to pick stand out tracks then they would be those tracks that I also like on the Kollected album – ‘Hey Dude’, ‘Govinda’, ‘Tattva’ (although I wish the slightly different single version was on the best of album rather than the album version), ‘303’, ‘Into the Deep’ and ‘Grateful When You’re Dead/Jerry Was There’ – all these tracks rock in various ways and are great to sing to. Also on the best of album is the stand alone single cover of ‘Hush’ which is a great balls out version of the Deep Purple track which in itself is a cover I think – feel free to correct me on this point. Anyway in much the same way as people really vehemently dislike Kasabian I recognise the fact the a lot of people really don’t like Kula Shaker. But I don’t care. Look this is me not caring. 🙂
Okay, onto safer ground which I will shortly put some dynamite under – let’s please talk about The Killers. Just really what the hell is all the fuss (‘scuse pun) about? Is it just because the lead singer is vaguely handsome? What am I missing. Let me expand…
I bought Hot Fuss and I think it is one of the best indie rock albums ever created by man. Pretty much every track is great and I especially worship ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’ which is just where I am at most of the time wrapped into a tidy musical nutshell. However it seems to me that the band have been dining out on the success of this debut and the enormous popularity of ‘Mr Brightside’ for far too long. Nothing else they have done has come close and believe me I have tried to like subsequent albums. Honestly I have tried.
Sam’s Town contains one track of merit – ‘When You Were Young’ – but I really can’t find anything else to talk about; the songs are so unmemorable – perhaps ‘Bones’ is as also good I really can’t remember, it was a single wasn’t it, something to do with sleeping together? Day & Age had a cool cover and some slightly better songs apart from the confused lyrics of ‘Human’ – is he slagging off dancers or what? Anyway the long and short of it is that I would ten times out of ten pick Kula Shaker or Kasabian over The Killers if I was asked to listen to anything other than Hot Fuss. Maybe I’m being a ‘first album snob’ again?
Let’s quickly move on and talk about Kenickie for a moment. How can I include Kenickie and not Kingmaker or The Kinks? I hear you ask. Simple really – I’m a sucker for a Northern accent and I had such fun when their music was out and it embodies that spirit in their songs and allows me to reminisce about good times instead of bad which is something Kingmaker and The Kinks really don’t. I absolutely love ‘Punka’ and a lot of the At the Club album.
And finally there are those 5 syllable album title maestros The Kings Of Leon. Consistently cool, great sounding and intriguing I have persevered with this band and grown to love them. They are definitely a ‘I have to be in the mood’ band, unlike the Black Keys for instance who I can just listen to at the drop of a hat, but when I am in the mood whoo they’re great. Mechanical Bull is the exception to this rule, it is perhaps their most accessible album on which you can actually hear most of the lyrics, and I like to listen to it whenever wherever, but I know that I might wear it out eventually and realise that it’s almost to ‘pop’ if that makes any sense. Or did I lose you when I slagged off The Killers? Lol
Only By The Night I guess was some kind of breakthrough album if they needed one – the singles certainly got a lot of airplay and everyone seemed to want to do cover versions of ‘Sex on Fire’, I prefer the slightly more understated ‘Use Somebody’. Because of the Times and Aha Shake Heartbreak are simply very solid albums that need to be listened to in their entirety from start to finish possibly together while drinking some Bourbon from the navel of a Southern belle and snacking on barbecued spare ribs. Or maybe a Fanta and some Walker’s cheese and onion. I leave that to you the discerning listener.
Youth & Young Manhood is where it all started when the band were still pretty bloody scruffy but quite wet behind the ears – not that you’d notice in the music (or under all that hair). Looking at them they reminded me a little back then of a Nashville version of Supergrass. ‘Molly’s Chambers’ I still a massive favourite of mine and I love ‘Holy Roller Novocaine’ almost as much.
Cue ‘Waterloo Sunset’…