dinsdag 27 januari 2015

Laundry EP. King Karoshi

It seems like I have found out how Erwin Zijleman finds his Canadians to review. Contact one and they tell you about other singers and bands they like or know. I'm only joking, but a fact is that Natalie Ramsay pointed me to the fantastic 'Cluster funk' by Death Goldbloom and then gave me the tip to also listen to King Karoshi, someone she used to make music with when living in Montreal.

So I checked out Laundry on Bandcamp and found myself liking the music on offer. And again this colourful cover. Much more elementary than 'Fly to home', but certainly in a style that I've encountered a few times in the past weeks.

King Karoshi has four band members: Rémi Denis, lead guitar and back-up vocals; Patrick Dunphy, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Alexy Guérer, drums and back-up vocals and Antoine Poliquin, bass and back-up vocals. Laundry is the band's first album released in May 2014 and that was about all the info I could find in the quick scan I ran on the Internet. So let's go to the EP itself.

Fans of Britpop and indie will find a lot to their liking on Laundy. King Karoshi has the right sounds and with Patrick Dunphy the right singer. With a slightly rough-edged voice he manages to touch upon the exact right mood for the band's music. The voice even contrasts at certain moments with the music, making it all the more interesting to listen to. From Starsailor and The Rifles to Dutch band Moke, there are references all over the place. The compliment here is that the songs on Laundry add to the catalogue in a fine way, the downside that King Karoshi still needs to find its own voice. That is something which is quite allowed with a first release.

Laundry starts with a clear, light bell sound: ping. The title song slowly builds itself up to a stark Britpop rocker. With a high sounding lead guitar playing the characteristic notes. The prickly riff of 'Tallest pawn' creates an interesting contrast with the opening song showing that King Karoshi has given thought to the sequence of the songs in a successful way. The way the song sweetens in the chorus and bridge section shows that Natalie Ramsay was right: this is an interesting band to check out. Again guitar layers are built up towards the end, creating an impressive sounding song that ends abruptly. I'm digging it.

'Fading now' starts crescendo and mellows out in the tight rhythm of drums, bass and guitar. The song has a less interesting vocal melody though. Not my favourite of the EP. Luckily 'First world problems' brings Laundry back on track. The lead guitar does the right sort of work here and the band sings well together. It all ends with 'So little time'. Another song that makes me look forward to hear more from King Kaloshi in the future. Perhaps the most British of the five songs. Where Morrissey's influence comes through the strongest of all. Dunphy definitely tries to sing like him here. The song is also the most elementary, emptiest sounding of the five. So the singing has to be right and it is. In any other case the floor would have fallen from under Patrick Dunphy's feet; and it doesn't.

In short, a very interesting debut album by King Kaloshi. The band manages to show its influences in the right way. King Kaloshi created new songs that start from, but certainly deserve to stand next to the already existing ones. Songs that are very much worth while listening to. There's also a challenge: to stand just a little bit more apart from the fold. I'm looking forward to hearing just that.


You can listen to and order Laundry here:


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