Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Incredible Kidda Band on Last Laugh Records

There's gaps in anyone's music collection, I'm not afraid to admit it, the number of times I've kicked myself for not listening to something sooner only happens more and more. It's humbling and important...a reminder to keep looking for stuff, and always be digging, not just crates of records, but time periods and influences. Maybe the older you get the more you keep working backwards, or you smarten up. I was just reading Love Rock Revolution by Mark Baumgarten about K recs that just came out recently. There was a story about Calvin Johnson on a school trip to England buying a Jam single, being obsessed with punk and leading directly to working at a radio station in Olympia. Calvin would have been right to check out The Kidda Band as well who sound like they're working with the same kind of raw power punk sounds and this reimagined single from Last Laugh is exactly what should have come out way back when to be a touchstone of the genre, a kind of bridge between snotty angsty punk and power pop glam.
"Radio Caroline" is an ode to that floating pirate radio station, playing rock and roll anti-BBC style, all day, all indie rock, in the safety of international waters. The Kidda Band has this great dual distortion harmony guitar sound, and the cut here is appropriately overdriven into static-y peaks. Completely polished and tight, with a raw energy, it's a perfect snapshot. They have an impressive knack for vocal harmonies and all out dirty choruses which don't care anything about time or history. His radio is useless, bring back Radio Caroline. How are there so many great songs about the radio? That idea is practically archaic at this point, but the medium itself inspired tunes about it. Where's the songs about myspace...or Napster? They're probably out there...after all the great singles from Last Laugh from these guys, I'm converted.
"We're Gonna Make it" comes in with long gritty chords and that smacking snare. Sounding a little bit darker, this isn't party pop, Alan is sick of the road, and making it sound damn good. He isn't just a jaded rock star, it's the struggle that ended up being autobiographical... one of those stories of just brushing against commercial success through no fault of their skill at crafting punchy punk. But you know better, and there's a reason that this has the longevity to be sought after for decades on ebay and thankfully has been economically rereleased to inspire a new generation.
Glad to see these guys through Last Laugh, getting another chance to set the record straight. Might be out at the source, but Floridas Dying has copies.

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