The Kooks - Konk

2008-05-27 05:34
Right, now for their sound - how does an off-the-rack play list of Brit popped singalongs ("Always Where I Need to Be") and bipolar mood swings ("Stormy Weather") which veer from Kinky 60s pop rockers ("See the Sun") and animated Blur parables ("Mr. Maker") to Badly Drawn Boy busks ("Tick of Time") grab you?

Hell, if their lyrics are anything as good as the sum of the aforementioned parts, then who cares if Konk might just be a pilfered pastiche of the best bits of Blur, Oasis or Supergrass?
Ah, but here lies the rubber soul in the Kooks’ kinky boots. Lyrically, they suck. "ABCDEF and G/That reminds me of when we were free" mouths singer-cum-guitarist Luke Pritchard on the woeful acoustic mope "One Last Time". Ouch. "Don’t heap this praise on me/I know I don’t deserve it" he teases on the self-loather "Gap", before imploring "please don't go," and "I miss you and I love you and that's true". Such sincerity may work for singer songwriters like James Blunt, but when it comes to rock stars, earnestness died when Kurt blew his brains out with a shotgun.

Hell, if Noel, Damon, Jarvis or god damn Bobby Gillespie had penned a cocksure couplet like "Do you wanna make love to me? I know you wanna make love to me" (off "Do You Wanna") they would’ve made sure it was a piss-take of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll mythology. Instead these Kooks just blag on about how many groupies they’re getting, overlooking the irony at the core of the Franz Ferdinand song they’ve poached into indie-disco obsolescence.

- Miles Keylock

Let’s begin with The Kooks' name: it’s borrowed from a lesser known David Bowie ditty about playing happy families. It’s cute. Next that album title: a 'thumbs up' to their hero, Ray 'The Kinks' Davies' studio where they recorded most of these tracks. Cool, their answer to The Beatles’ Abbey Road then. Train-spotters love it when bands play this kind of inter-textual pop game.

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