SINGLE REVIEW: Kath and The Kicks – ‘Underground’


I love Kath and The Kicks, they play kick-ass rock. Sometimes it’s kind of alt-rock, sometimes with a hint of blues, sometimes garage-y, sometimes metally, and sometimes grungy. ’Underground’ is kinda grungy at least at first. There is more, much more.

The thing about this track is that it builds downwards and then upwards, yep you read that correctly. It starts with a deep fuzzy pulse. The vocals come in, and they are great vocals, really great vocals. Look, the vocals on this rock. It then kinda gets post-punk in that Goth way. An Eastern rhythm develops. It’s all swirly, I can think of no other way to describe it. And then, oh boy, there’s another change; it goes softer rock, and then starts to build. Layers of sounds – vocals, guitar. Given that it’s an epic 5 minutes long this ending section could be described as a coda.

So that’s the description but this doesn’t tell you that this track takes you on a journey – from that grungy doomy start to the explosion into the light. And the words tell that story. And these are great words, Kath and The Kicks have great words in their songs.

And it doesn’t describe the feelings I had the first time I played it; I instantly became addicted to it, I fell for it hard.

The playing on this is so so cool – you’d expect that, the three of them are great musicians but this is something else. The guitar on this goes through so many changes – from hard riffing to oh-so gentle plucked strings to huge and soaring – and it’s all perfect. Rock solid drumming, a bass that just won’t give up.

It’s heavy, it’s grungy but it’s sophisticated and complex. It’s in the way it changes, it’s in the way the vocals sometimes weave around each other. It’s in the layers of guitar where there is always something new to hear. And for all that heaviness there is a tune. There is light and shade..

If you’ve never heard anything by the band – and you’ve been missing out if you haven’t – play this now. It’s just wonderful.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.