Friday, April 18

The Kooks And Their Pretty Good New Album

Snobbishness has been rife inside the minds of the supposed indie underground for years. Borrell and his ambitions get belittled. The BRIT School and its Nash/Winehouse/Adele-fostering gets scoffed at. And ever since ‘Naïve’ managed to catapult four students from Brighton into one of the biggest bands in the land, The Kooks have been accused of being too bland, too commercial, and too posh.
However, regardless of such musical prejudice, following the worldwide success debut ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, ‘Konk’ ultimately succeeds. The hype-crafting single came in the form of ‘Always Where I Need To Be’, and by means of glossy crunching guitars and typically infectious "doo-doos", it was the ideal pick to fire up their planet re-conquering campaign.
Starting off the album, ‘See The Sun’ finds Luke Pritchard’s smooth, frail yelps sounding more insistent than ever, which raised above bigger-than-usual strings, comes off pretty darn mighty with most of ‘Konk’ showing off this grander, even groovier edge, also made evident by ‘Do You Wanna?’ and ‘Stormy Weather’. ‘Gap’ though is this album’s total shining point, rising up to a climactic array of clean-cut guitars and woozy noises, as if Wayne Coyne has Editors locked in a room until they lighten up a bit. Perfect for those big green fields in the summer.
Words-wise though little has changed, as each and every chorus seems to be concerned with Pritchard’s fixation with the female of the species. Fair enough, though constantly asking “Do you wanna make love to me?” in ‘Do You Wanna’ comes off a bit cheap. Yet apart from ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ and the Death Cab-tinged pure delight of ‘One Last Time’, which lays bare a gentler-than-ever Kooks, not much on here is as instant as ‘Eddie’s Gun’ or ‘Naïve’. These tracks need time to open up before lodging inside your brain for days on end.
‘Konk’ is not a major step forward from their debut but more proof of totally sweet pop songs beset with genuine emotion. Ignoring the unfortunate snobbery that tags itself along with this band, The Kooks are in possession of two fine albums, totally deserving of their monstrous status. And now they have the songs to match the stadiums.
One Last Time
The Kooks Myspace