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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Kooks 'Konk' - CD Review

The Kooks 'Konk'
{Virgin/Astralwerks 2008}

by Genie Sanchez

Most “new” things are usually better the second, third or even fourth time around. At least that’s what I’ve come to experience and expect when drinking whiskey, but it’s especially true when listening to new music. Particularly when that music is from bands I never really got into the first time around, when they put out their first album. I don’t like being force fed anything. So when my favorite radio station plays that one song over and over again (yes, Angelinos still listen to the radio! Even though we hide behind our beloved iPods and act like the only tuneage worth injecting into our denial filled self-denounced hipster ears is music we hold as being as “vintage” as the clothes we wear. We do still listen to the radio and secretly anticipate new music. So don’t be fooled) I can’t wait to turn the dial in an act of “sticking it to the man.” Usually I have to listen to a new album over and over, and over again just to be able to have its sound attach to the inside of my brain. I’ve got to allow it to fully wrap around me and absorb it before I can truly make any kind of sense of it…or at least tolerate it. Although this might be just me, I’m not sure. I think it’s probably some kind of toxic side effect of watching bad day time television and listening to the same 7 poorly produced pop songs in the carpool lane during rush hour traffic on the 101. In any instance, my aural senses need a vacation every once in a while, a breath of fresh air if you will. And every once in awhile my lack of auditory pleasure is satisfied, when those underestimated bands come out with a really well developed collection of songs. The Kooks sophomore album titled Konk satisfies my rock-snobbery. The record is named for the London studio in which it was recorded at. Pretty clever huh? Meh.

It's very seldom you discover a band nowadays that drives you to find out more about them. Like when you find an old vinyl record from some obscure band you’ve never thought twice about but in your mind that record has now become your obsession, it's the one that is the holy grail of all albums and instantaneously you fall in love with that band and from that moment your life’s mission is to find and listen to every single album ever made by that one band. You’re intrigued, smitten, infatuated, you’re in love. I never really got into the Kooks, I mean I had heard them on the radio a little bit, seen their music videos and sure they are cute guys, they have some catchy songs but for whatever reason I just never caught on to them. But then I listened to Konk and now I find myself trying to find any and all songs that they ever put out. This album is a great mix of Brit-pop rock. It’s got it all; rockin’ guitar riffs, a danceable rhythm section, and catchy vocals... really, what more could a girl ask for? Oh and don’t you hate it when every track of an album sounds oddly like the all the rest. I do, you can’t tell if it’s all one forty minute track or 12 separate ones, not to worry here though! Each track on Konk is completely its own, the way it should be. The single “Always where I need to be” is entertaining and could easily fill the dance floor with hipsters wanting to rock out behind their ray bans. While the fourth track, “Do you wanna,” has a swagger to it all its own and is sure to get even the most timid girl to the front of the stage to strut her stuff for singer Luke Pritchard. “See the Sun” gives off a warm glow shining light on the bands “vintage” fundamental influences making for an astounding opener to an album that screams the work of genius.

I’m not sure how “popular” this album will be on the top forty chart, in fact I don’t believe it will be on there for very long if it gets on it at all, but if it does I’m defiantly listening to my radio! I’m sure of one thing though, I know that this album will be held as jewel in the treasure box of our generation's music and will become on of those albums our kids find when they are teenagers or twenty-something’s and they will hold this as great work of art, a staple in their “vintage” music collection, a cut above the rest.Konk will shine on for years to come. Well done Kooks, well done!

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