mercoledì 4 novembre 2009

Kenickie "At The Club"

E dopo tanti post siamo arrivati alla fine della crociata targate Kenickie. Chiudiamo proprio con il disco d'esordio, quello che senza dubbio diede loro più soddisfazioni in termini di popolarità e di impatto di vendite. Giovani, carini e filo pop punk, con melodie dirette e tanta bella grinta. Ecco come ricordo i Kenickie, poi certo la divina Lauren merita solo baci, abbracci e lodi infinite da tanto carina è, ma questa è tutta 1 altra storia! (1997 EMI)

Armed with just a few singles on tiny record labels and some comments about not "selling out" and a vague "revolution," the Scottish trio Bis has caused a stir in the U.K. in the past year. Propelled by two guitars and a synthesizer (a drum machine, canned keyboard bass and occasional Ms. Pac Man effects thicken the sound), Bis are masters of inflamed rhetoric and catchy sloganeering: "Sweetshop Avengerz," "Monstarr" and "Everybody Thinks That They're Going to Get Theirs" are just three out of 18 near-perfect shout-alongs on their debut album, The New Transistor Heroes, Bis' music-biz peers aren't safe from the vitriol: "One day you'll realize that you're not that great," sings Manda Rin on "Popstar Kill," "Hey, popstar, I hate your guts, you don't deserve to live."
In other words, Bis loathe everything a band like Kenickie strives for. Kenickie, a three girl/one boy combo from northern England, play more conventional yet highly satisfying frothy glam punk, and relish its commercial success. Needless to say, they particularly enjoy targeting the grandstanding of bands such as, well, Bis, on songs like "Punka" ("Underground cliché – Punka!").
Yet Kenickie and Bis have more in common than they would care to admit. Musically, both update early '80s sounds with '90s attitude – Bis are Bow Wow Wow filtered through riot grrrl aesthetics, whereas Kenickie actually deliver on promises made by the Go-Go's in 1981. Most important, both bands share a single, basic interest: their own youth (no one in either band has reached 21, save Kenickie's venerable drummer, Johnny X, and Bis' Scifi-Steven). Bis actively promote the concept of a "Teen C Nation," and Kenickie revel in typical nothing-can-stop-me teenage arrogance.
There are also ominous signs that Bis and Kenickie may be in trouble once their hormones settle down and they have to replace attitude with actual songwriting: Kenickie's slow songs are particularly clunky ("Acetone"), and Bis' anthems are rather interchangeable. But, right now, they pull it off on sheer energy and arrogance. Who cares about the future, anyway, when the present is such a blast? (Elisabeth Vincentelli -

Blonde and brassy and up for as much fun as it's possible to have in PVC - which, I would imagine, is quite a lot - Kenickie tear through their debut album with the kind of spirit that shames the week's other releases. Smells, in fact, like teen spirit, but with all self-pity swept aside by sheer force of personality. The closest that Lauren Laverne and Marie Du Santiago, the band's songwriter/guitarists, get to grunge complaint is the cheerful antipathy of "Spies", and even then there is zero tolerance for whingers - "You should stay out of my way," advises Laverne. "I don't have time to watch you cry."
Kenickie's sound is rooted in the garage-band thrash style celebrated in the nostalgic "Punka", but already they've superseded such beginnings, blossoming into a high-energy amalgam of all the great girl groups. The single "In Your Car" opens proceedings as a street-smart, punkish version of The Shangri-Las, with gossipy inquisitions interjected between lines like a dubious Greek chorus. "This is heaven, didn't you know?" sings Laverne; "D'ya reckon?" respond her bandmates, unimpressed. Throughout the album, Kenickie combine the bounce of The Go-Gos and the laconic harmonies of Bananarama with the energy of Babes In Toyland, but somehow manage - unlike all three - to remain engaging at all times.
At their best, they summon up the simple pop drive of The B-52s, but with the self-conscious American zaniness replaced by a canny Wearside suss. The result, in songs such as "Nightlife", "Classy" and "Come Out 2Nite" is a teen manifesto somewhat akin to a tougher, neon-lit version of Supergrass's "Alright": "We are now for your inspiration/ Soundtrack to the times/ We are young for your desecration/ Destroy what you find". There are no grand illusions to Kenickie's worldview, though - throughout the album runs a strong thread of level-headed cynicism that enables them to cast a sensible, if jaundiced, eye over the minefields of youthful relationships, teen pregnancy and peer pressure. Self-determination at its noisiest - it was what punk was all about, surely. (Andy Gill -

- In Your Car
- People We Want
- Spies
- How I Was Made
- Brother John
- Private Buchowski
- Millionaire Sweeper
- Robot Song
- Classy
- Punka
- Nightlife
- Cowboy
- P.V.C.
- Come Out 2 Nite
- I Never Complain
- Acetone


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