Review:: The Kooks Inside In Inside Out

It’s getting close to the honeymoon voyage to Vietnam, so like Ewing in the late nineties, my post moves will be slowing down. It’s tough to peruse the net and pack for a trip. But when we are sitting around planning out the days and trying to register the complexities of Vietnamese on tape, one CD has surfaced as a fun diversion. It’s the Kooks record – Inside in Inside Out.

It’s interesting to hear people admit this record is a guilty pleasure. I’m over the whole guilty pleasure discussion. You either like a record or you don’t. Admitting to liking something, but stressing you know it’s not good is just bunk. The Kooks are the latest mega band from the UK. Relying on a mix of catchy acoustic ditties and crunchy rockers, falsettos, and a bucket load of hype this CD is going to hit home with lots of people.

From the gentle acoustic riff of Seaside you notice the pop sensibility of the band. The band teases the listener, as the track teeters on the brink of exploding into a rawkus number, but the band restrains that urge and hooks you. Much like another UK band I’m a fan of – Idlewild, the Kooks balance the acoustic 50’s pop numbers with energetic sing-alongs. As the guitars pop into your headphones on the second track, See the World and you are exposed to the other side of the band.

The album goes on in such a manner, a nice mix of hooks and ballads. The band follows a routine that many UK bands seem to implement (the Subways for example). Sure it’s formulaic, but there is a reason why so many hot bands use the formula: it works. The adolescent anthem, Sofa Song shows is a perfect example. Sure the lyrics aren’t going to stick in your brain, the riffs will and sometimes that’s all you want.

There are some misses on the album, like the painfully Rooney-esque Eddie’s Gun and the staccato, pseudo ska/punk delivery on Match Box, but strong tracks like Ooh La and Naive are more than enjoyable enough to keep you listening. The band even breaks away from the patterns and takes some small risks (like the bluesy-intro on Time Awaits). It’s the type of record that will stick in your head, so let’s just leave it at that. it's easy to dismiss the band on hype, but even easier to enjoy what they produce.

If you want more, check out hype-standard. There are a crap tonne of em.

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