The Kooks: Konk

The Kooks couldn't have chosen a more ironic band name if they tried. There's a long, venerable tradition of harmless British eccentrics—amateur stamp enthusiasts and custard obsessives litter Agatha Christie novels and Kinks songs alike—but musically, The Kooks have nothing in common with well-loved weirdoes like Ian Dury. Instead, their second album fits squarely into the Libertines-fixated mainstream of NME-approved buzz bands. Don't care for their ska-tilting, strummy acoustic guitars and benign rockers? Half a dozen interchangeable ensembles will be along shortly. To pass the time until then, enjoy their diverse lyrical interests: On "Love It All," for example, the chorus is "She said 'love it all, love it all, love it all.'" On the next song, "Stormy Weather," they offer "Yes, it feels like love, love, love." There's nothing inherently offensive about The Kooks: They're reasonably tight, and each song is just melodic enough to seem catchy until its memory is erased by the next. Lousy lyrics alone don't kill them (Coldplay lived), but a surfeit of competitors does: The fact that they have American distribution instead of, say, The Ordinary Boys is little more than an accident. The Libertines were, at least briefly, experts at derivative synthesis; poorly derived from a derivative, The Kooks add little to the mix.

Filed Under: Music

More Music Review