If there is one thing that UK musicians do, and do extremely well, it’s making fun songs that mix equal parts funk, rock and blues. Following in the steps of The Rolling Stones, Mott The Hoople, and more recent favorites Razorlight and Mohair, The Kooks from Brighton, England have jumped into the natatorium with their debut album Inside In/Inside Out, produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Supergrass).
Band members Luke Pritchard (vocals and guitar), Hugh Harris (guitar), Max Rafferty (bass), and Paul Garred (drums) came together in 2003 while still in high school. Though still young, the band displays a diverse array of styles on their album, from the reggae steps of “The Awaits” to the acoustic folk flavoring of ” Seaside.” There is vibrant pop/rock numbers like “See The World” and “Sofa Song” balanced out with soft ballads like “Do You Love Me Still” and “Got No Love.” There’s some country tinged movements mixed in with upbeat jangly pop/rock sequences like in “Jackie Big Tits” and some jazz percussion on “If Only.”
The songs on Inside In/Inside Out are tuneful and melodically nourished with pedestals of twisting guitar arpeggios and vocals with cheery momentum like on ” Ooh La. ” This young UK outfit dabbles in multiple genres and create tempo shifts with meaning, accentuating the choruses and the lyrical phrases. The Kooks’ songs are full of life, experiencing desires and opening up the floodgates of their sexual impulses. Their vibrancy is festive and their nü Britpop fare engaging.
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