Energetic Heartfelt Indie
Brighton 4-piece The Kooks have already made their way onto the Radio 1 play list with their single 'You Don't Love Me' and 'Inside In/Inside Out' is certain to provide more material to shoot the band into the bristling indie scene.
Opener 'Seaside' is a gentle, bittersweet number that stirs major and minor chords in a delicate mix that has you drawn to its tender charms. 'See The World' kicks off with a brash vigour and almost punk repetitiveness that's catchy without relying on shouted vocals and is pervaded by smart riffs and feisty vocals. 'Sofa Song' has a certain in your face charm with its lyrics like "Won't you come on over the side of my sofa?" about joining the band on their sofa and rapturous guitar work. Like 'Sofa Song', 'Eddie's Gun' has been a successful single release for the band, the latter has a very fashionable sound with a blistering mix of guitar chords that keeps you on your toes and feverish vocals running at light speed.
'Ooh La' has a wonderful breezy feel with acoustic guitar that seems to sway like a hypnotic tide as the rhythm penetrates your body, demanding you at least nod in time. Current single 'You Don't Love Me' is a frenetic, melodic explosion of rough, driving sound, although it's currently causing a stir for the band, it's not even one of my favourite tracks, which only goes to show how much potential this band have.
The later tracks like 'She Moves In Her Own Way', 'If Only' and 'Na´ve' go in for a bit of a reggae vibe with lazy guitar chords buzzing away behind the quirky, mellow vocals while 'Matchbox' is a jerky pop anthem that declares, "The Kooks are out in the street". Name checking your own band in your records may be a little pretentious in some cases, but The Kooks have a lot to shout about. The aforementioned tunes may all be a bit of a step down in pace, but there's still some smart guitar work and catchy riffs that make them more than just a pleasant diversion.
'I Want You Back' is another tune with definite single potential, full of longing vocals that really seep out of the speakers into your head and tense percussion and guitars that spill out in the catchy, simple chorus. Unfortunately some of the tracks near the end of the album begin to drag, 'Jackie Big Tits' - as well as having an extremely un-PC title - is best described as sunny but harmless. 'Time Awaits' moves from a country feel with big riffs and vocal calls to a more reggae rock feel in the first minute, it's one of the best examples of this side of The Kooks' style with a vigorous feel and frustrated percussion that certainly stand out.
The Kooks' sound is one that's bursting with energy, but more mature and melodic than the indie scene's current teenage wonders The Subways and with more than one trick up their sleeve as the diversity of material on this album shows, although the impassioned indie is more of a winner than the rocky reggae for me. 'Inside In/Inside Out' is a fantastic debut that's full of charismatic tunes and The Kooks certainly deserve to be reigning the airwaves very soon.