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Review

English band offers fans a less serious sound

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November 9, 2006

I’m starting to feel rather old when I talk about music.

Saying things like, “Hey, remember that song ‘Peaches’ by the Presidents of the United States of America?” or “I heard ‘Sellout’ by Reel Big Fish on Drive 105 last night!” tend to attract more than a furrowed brow these days.

I’m starting to think people have forgotten that music doesn’t really have to be serious to be good, and that there is more to the radio than what is “Fergalicious.”

While visiting some friends in London this past summer, I was introduced to The Kooks, whose album “Inside In/Inside Out” was recently released in the United States. I realize England’s taste of music could shy some readers away. With artists like James Blunt and Franz Ferdinand, who could blame you for moving over to the movie reviews? However, The Kooks could do more than just save England’s reputation — they could save the reputation of our generation as well.

“Inside In/Inside Out” is not overly serious, and should not be listened to over a cup of coffee and your Friday morning bagel.

This band is out to put a smile on your face, get you up on your feet and make you dance around like you’re trapped in another obnoxious iPod commercial.

The band is led by 19-year-old Luke Pritchard. Pritchard is a living embodiment of The Kooks — he’s awkward looking with a curly mop-top hairdo and the stereotypical English dental features.

“Inside In/Inside Out” starts out with a simple, acoustic love song, “Seaside.” Maybe this won’t get you up on your feet, but it should grab the attention of any listener, thanks to Pritchard’s unique vocals. The album’s second song, “See the World,” sounds much like one of the two or three good songs by The Strokes.

The tracks on this album vary from Indie rock to Britpop, and in this case, garage rock. “See The World” begs the listener to put away their books and newspapers and pick up their air guitar again, however the songs are still decent at best until we get to the first American single, “Eddie’s Gun.”

“Eddie’s Gun” is Indie Rock personified. The song grabs the listener by the wrist and runs with them to the dance floor. This is one of those songs that makes it impossible for you to worry about who’s around you. Immediately when it begins to play, you feel the need to flail around like a monkey on speed.

Other highlights from the album include “Naïve,” which highlights Pritchard’s vocal talents yet again, and “She Moves in Her Own Way.”  Between its playful melodies and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, this song will force a smile out of the most serious of emo kids.
It reminds me that, amidst an era of bar flies and self-proclaimed divas, you just have to alert your eyes open for that right one.

Sound familiar?

Among artists like Nelly and My Chemical Romance, you need to keep your eyes and ears open for the right band. Maybe it’s The Kooks, maybe not.

Either way, if you see me dancing around campus like one of those over played iPod commercials, you’ll know who I am listening to.

Mike Pearson is a student at UW-River Falls.