Monday, 13 June 2011
The Kixx - Album preview
A few weeks ago I saw new band The Kixx supporting Olly Murs on tour at the prestigious Hammersmith Apollo and came away truly impressed by what they had to offer. Their debut single Already Gone is a fizzing, immensely energetic bit of pop/rock and a storming introduction to a group who are sure to be making waves in the music world shortly.
Listening to The Kixx's album sampler, the first thing that strikes you is the sense of energy - like a lightning storm trapped in a bottle and then suddenly let loose.
Tracks like Already Gone are at that moment of release, propelled on a jet-stream of catchy hooks and passion that was plain to see for anyone who caught them on tour. Dashing around the stage, guitars swinging, they played like it wasn't just a support slot, but their own headline show.
A real favourite of mine is Standing Where You Left Me - another massive upbeat track, full of bonkers techno synths, but also a surprisingly real grit to the vocals too.
With lyrics of 'Pretty lies are no concern, when we love we never learn', the song details a pessimistic outlook on the dangers of a fractious relationship. This isn't a Disney-fied sugar and smiles account of love and life, but rather something far more visceral and real.
Another thing The Kixx do really well? Laddy chants - they're stamped all over the album, especially on the punky There She Goes Again.
On a slower note though, there's Breathless, a lush piano ballad with real maturity to it. With a song like this, the crux of it is really believing the band means what they sing, and Breathless feels thoroughly authentic. Throughout the song, and the album as a whole, there are little quirks of melody as well as the overall scale of the sound that really help to elevate this into something truly alive.
When I saw them live at Hammersmith, you got a sense of the real benefit gained from them functioning as a complete band who all play their own instruments and who know exactly what they're doing. There's just a much fuller sound, and that's something reflected here on the album sampler too. Listening to Begin At The End, there's a satisfying throb of the bass in the verses, a real crunch to the guitar in the chorus - a musical intricacy that you just don't get with other boy bands.
A lot of comparisons have already been made with bands like Busted or McFly, but in truth the similarities don't really go much further than that they're all groups of guys playing catchy pop/rock tunes.
The Kixx's sound is their own and where they really shine is that they seem to have really pinned down what that unique sound is for them. Whereas other bands might spend their first album or two trundling along in first gear, The Kixx are already kicking it up to fifth.
Already Gone is available to download now.