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K-Line – “Lessons Learned But Ignored” CD 5/13:47
Members of this band have been around awhile, and in a number of other bands through the years. Their experience tells in this tight, if glossy, “post-hardcore” (their term) band from the UK. One of the neat aspects about this EP is the inclusion of two demo songs that will not be on the upcoming album, “The Circuit” and “Money Tree.” While their professionalism takes off some of the rough edge, it’s still nice to hear a band this strong at the top of their game. RBF
@ www.k-line.org.uk

Kaada - "Thank You For Giving Me..." CD 10/39:03
One of the year's best albums, although the year is actually 2001, which is when it was released in Kaada's native Norway. The musical approach varies from track to track, but this has a similar feel to Adrian Sheerwood's mid '80s hip-hop experimentation. American gospel singer Allan Steed contributes some fine vocals to the mix of beats and breaks, and his duet with female singer Rikke Brondby on "Care" is absolutely sensational. The eclectic influences make "Thank You..." a rollercoaster ride of an album, but it's quite a rewarding one. Mel
@ www.ipecac.com

Kaito - “Band Red” CD 11/36:48
Listening to the latest Kaito record, it suddenly occurred to me why I didn’t like the Liars album. Where the both give us clamorous, deconstructed guitar lines, Kaito balances the mess going on in the background with the sugary-sweet vocals of singer Niki Colk. This kind of experimental, post-everything racket has a tendency to bludgeon the listener over the head, but Colk handles it all with the self-assuredness of a sweet girl who just discovered cigarettes, bourbon and “Let it Bleed.” “Driving Manual Auto`” wouldn’t seem out of place at the coolest dance club in town, and “Moi” slows the action without killing the record’s momentum. By making quite possibly the most ugliest record you’ll ever love, Kaito have taken the lead in the race for this year’s great music discovery. Ryan
@ www.kaito.co.uk

Kaleidoscope – “Beacon From Mars and Other Psychedelic Side Trips” CD 23/78:05
Composed of the first album in its entirety as well as a good portion of their second, tidbits from their third, and some non-LP single sides. Kaleidoscope were one of the more eclectic 60s psych outfits, incorporating post-Dylan folk rock, ragas, Calloway tunes, etc. into their sound. Sometimes this resulted in some superior tuneage (“Egyptian Gardens”, “Keep Your Mind Open”) but other times it could come off as decent but flawed at best and incredibly cloying and clueless (as when they try their hand at “old-time” tunes) at worst (their “Minnie the Moocher” made me want to travel back in time and bitchslap whoever in the band was responsible for said travesty). They did have their moments and not a little potential, but ultimately their reach usually exceeded their grasp. David.
@ www.oldies.com

Kaleidoscope – “These are the Sounds of Kaleidoscope” CD 5/15:26
Fifteen minutes of mid-tempo groovy psych-pop from a Washington D.C. trio that is stuck somewhere between SST-era Dinosaur Jr. and what 1968 sounded like if you were on the right drugs. Frontman Damien Taylor’s voice really does the trick of lilting into the mix amongst fuzzed and affected guitarwork that manages to stay listenable during the freakouts. A respectable debut channeling the ghosts of pop noise.
Foxyboy, 1465 Chapin St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

Kalpana - "Hors de Combat" CD 9/50:49
This is great stuff. When it's loud. Totally lo-fi production. Loud. I love loud. Then they get quiet. And I love it less. If you're quiet you'd better have something to say, either with your music, or with your voice. I'm not sure these NY boys do. I spend way too much time waiting for the guitars to kick back in. Just listen to the 4th song for what you really want. Put it on a mix or something. Sharon
@ www.redderrecords.com/kalpana/

Kamikaze Builds the Noise Factory - "Falsifying the Image: Revenge on Life" CD 9/33:53
The mic lays in the corner on the floor, and Camper Van Beethoven, Feelies and Dinosaur, Jr. records play in various rooms. I can't really describe this any other way. (Words are so limiting.) But there's not much worth comparing. Dopey and trippy, "Poppy Fields" is the one really good song. The non-song entitled "My Life as Radio Waves" has sound bytes from Rush Limbaugh's show swimming in syrup and it made me uneasy. By the time we hit the final song, "I'll Kill You." I couldn't care less. Next. Anthony
@ www.buildingthefactory.com

Kammerflimmer Kollektief – “Cicadidae” CD 10/42:20
This German outfit (grown from the original one-man project to a six-member collective) is continually evolving from one release to the next, and this is no exception. They effectively meld machine-made sounds with old-fashioned string’n’brass instruments, with lushly evocative and warm organic-meet-electronic pieces as a result. One can’t help but wonder what they’ll come up with next. David
@ www.temporaryresidence.com

Kanda – “It’s a Good Name for You” CD 11/34:34
Proving that electronic music need not be austere or icy, Kanda crafts eleven brilliant, welcoming pop songs that offset their propensity for soundscapes with warm, soothing melodies. The songs are gentle as snowfall, whirring and whistling snyths popping like an old pong game as (uncredited) boy-girl vocals sing sweetly atop them. The songs are as pink as Hello Kitty, sparkling and twinkling like little plastic jewels in the Barbie Dream House. Kanda recalls acts like Saloon and even Stars who temper the sterility of their electronic arrangements with traditional pop melodies. Not revelatory, but perfect music for late-night unwinding. –J. Edward
@ www.simdisc.com

Kaospilot - s/t CD 11/26:08
Completely out of its mind blistering chaotic Norwegian noise rock that makes bands like the Anasazi or Truman's Water seem like noise amateurs. They throttle their songs with shards of hyper-HC and super-thrash but they don't stay with any one element for more than a few bars, ripping through their songs like a chainsaw through flesh, while spouting angry philosophies. ("Sometimes at bus stops and on daytime soaps you can hear people say no peace for the wicked/They never offer a nuanced version/And maybe words are just noise or a set of marks on paper"). Imagine the Boredoms as a socialist speed-core outfit with even less of an attention span. The harshest/coolest thing to come down the pike in a while and a definite Top Five of the month selection. Not to be confused with C.H.A.O.S. or Pilot, the 70s am-radio band. Anthony
@ www.level-plane.com

Karl Hendricks Trio – “The Jerks Win Again” CD 8/54:19
Karl Hendricks has matured as a songwriter and lyricist since his trio’s last full-length “Declare Your Weapons” came out in 1998. Visual evidence comes first, as a cartoon pointing a gun to his head on a subway car has been substituted with a forlorn baseball team. Pop the disc in, and the sound is less hostile, opting for a more subdued but equally loud rock attack. Hendricks’ calling card – dramatic lyrics – are still in the forefront, though more outwardly focused than his introspective declarations of the past. But confession is still his truest trait, and he pegs his newfound maturity better than any reviewer ever could during the second track on the disc: “You’d like to tell responsibility to just fuck off / But feeling good is no longer the boss / And I guess punk rock lost”. Xtian
@ Merge Records

Kelvin – “Outsideagain” CD 11/42:17
Didn’t expect much from this, but it knocked me on my ass. One major league rock tune after another, the smooth “Solid”, the tightly-wrapped “Inside Out” and the colorful “Thorazine Shuffle”. The Buffalo Tom hook on “Vacuum” is so beautifully simple it’s stunning. Some bands absorb their influences so well they create something all their own. This is such a record. Deserves the same level of press as a band like Interpol is receiving. Top ten records of the year starts here. Anthony
@ www.casualrecords.com

Kenne Highland & His Vatican Sex Kittens – “Be More Flamboyant” CD 10/43:59
I’ve been a fan of Kenne Highland ever since his Gizmos and Afrika Korps days, and over the years he has continued periodically to release some primo garage punk with different band members. Although not as well-recorded or splendidly belligerent as his Kenne Highland Klan release a few years back, this new record is nonetheless chock full of snotty garage blasts. It even includes a bizarre Velvet Underground/Smokey Robinson hybrid that actually works! Like Jeff Dahl, with whom he shares certain musical similarities, Kenne is a trooper who can always be counted on to deliver the r’n’r goods – year after year – and the rest of us are all the better for it. Jeff
@ www.stantonpark.com

Kensia - "Nothing to Say" CD 12/42:15
Poppy ska punk with nice vocals; the horn playing is pretty good too. The lyrics are completely disposable. These boys think a lot of stuff sucks, and they especially think girls suck. Take what you will from that. Kensia is nothing special, but they probably don't mean any harm. Mark.
@ Household Name, PO Box 12286, London, SW9 6FE, England

Kevin Devine – “Make the Clocks Move” CD 14/49:54
I’ve seen Kevin perform with his other gig, the band Miracle of 86, in its entire full blown hard pop rock. Great stuff. And here he is with his solo, acoustic work. I’ve seen listings that he’s playing, but haven’t had the chance to see him in this incarnation. And now that I’ve heard this CD, I will definitely make it a point. Kevin’s songs have always been wonders, and even without the band behind him, he is a strong force. His voice is distinctive in that he doesn’t sound “perfect,” but it’s this roughness that helps to give him that edge that gives emphasis to what he’s singing. Not a bad cut here. RBF
@ www.triplecrownrecords.com

Kevin Hewick - "Tender Bruises and Scars" CD 23/67:19
A compiling of the almost complete works (including some pre-CR releases on Factory, albeit minus the seven live tracks from the Factory Quartet compilation) from 1980-1983 from one Kevin Hewick, probably best known today for having the just-post-Ian-pre-Gillian New Order back him up on his debut seven inch. Left to his own devices, his one-man album, 1983's "Such Hunger For Love" (the centerpiece of the CD naturally) reveals him to be the modern equivalent of the coffeehouse troubadours of yore, updated for the (literally) post-punk era. Some songs are okay to pretty good (and even if he isn't too keen on it nowadays I actually liked "Normandy" at least musically) but he seemed to work better with others, as the aforementioned tracks with New Order and the Sound helpfully demonstrate. Includes an enhanced video of "Ophelia's Drinking Song/Cathy's Clown" as well as the remembrances from Hewick himself in the booklet. David
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Kicks – “Hello Hong Kong” CD 12/42:31
Everytime a genre or sub-genre of music hits big, there’s always a wave of watered-down imitators the major labels pump out in order to try to grab a piece of the action. Sometimes the imitators hit (Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, and Sum 41 come to mind), and sometimes they don’t. The Kicks are riding the emo-pop thing, with a hint of the rebelliousness of The Strokes thrown in. Ahem. Imagine if Alkaline Trio was a little less gloomy and more, oh, Presidents of the United States of America. There, that’s the nicest thing I can say about this. Jesse
@ TVT, 23 E. 4th St., NYC, NY 10003

Kicks - s/t CD 11/36:42
Hey, at least they called their first song "Mir", which is about wanting to be an astronaut. The timing of calling a song "Columbia" just won't have done this record any good. This band used to be known as Ashtray Babyhead (thankfully they were forced to change the name due to some hassles with a previous label), and this seems to be a re-release of their "Radio" CD of 2000, at least based on the song listing on the All Music Guide. The songs have plenty of guitar hooks, the pacing is along the lines of bands like Weezer or the Foo Fighters. Some songs fall a little flat; they aren't so hook filled that a little more speed might not hurt. It's decent alternative rock record, with a few new wave/power pop nuances that make for a decent, although far from overwhelming listen. Steve
@ www.xsrecords.com

Kickz – “Activate Me” CD 7/17:49
With vocals from the whiny Sex Pistols school crossed with Stiv Bators and Pete Shelley snottiness and songs that are firmly planted in 1977, this is a decent disc that incorporates enough melody and snarl to make for an interesting listen. Similar to the Exploding Hearts, minus a little of the pop underpinnings, this record could use a little tighter production to bring the guitars up a bit and give them a little more sonic roar, but apparently, this is a huge upgrade from their first single. I’m looking forward to their first proper full length, which should be out later this year. Steve
@ www.peladorecords.com

Kid Dakota - "So Pretty" CD 8/42:42
This is a re-release of 2001's "So Pretty" EP, plus three new tracks. Kid Dakota (aka Minnesota's Darren Jackson) creates intricate ballads with bittersweet melodies and fuzz-under-glass guitars, not unlike Swearing at Motorists, Sentridoh and Quasi performing an electronic puppet show on Quaaludes. The crystal-clear production that renders the silence between notes positively ominous. Measured sequencing draws the listener into a hypnotic world of blood, wide-open skies and shards of glass. Jackson's startlingly intimate vocals on the acoustic "Pairin' Off" gently drop lines like, "I guess I like you well enough/ perhaps we'll get it on`" sounding too damned sincere to be threatening. The new tracks ("Crossin' Fingers`" "Bathroom" and "The Overcoat") warrant an EP in their own right. Excellent music that makes most guitar-based rock seem stunted by comparison. John
@ www.kiddakota.com MP3 Download

Kiddo - s/t CD 12/33:15
Wow, this is terrific pop, featuring a mix of male and female vocals and styles that range from simple indie pop to slightly quirky They Might Be Giants like-material. The songs that catch my ear the most are the speedier, punkier songs that remind me a bit of the Smoking Popes; just replace some of Josh Caterer's vocals with bass player Liz Whitman and guitarist Christian Doble's sweet trade off on harmonies and lead vocals and that's what you'd have. The whole thing feels like spring; whether it's a song about a lost romance, a car race, or cool crushes. They're accomplished songwriters who aren't wedded to a beat on song after song, and you can't help but want to smile as you listen to these great pop songs. Steve
@ www.driveinrecords.com

Kidnappers – “Ransom Notes and Telephone Calls” LP 12/36:00
One of the newer generation of German groups inspired by the snotty, stripped-down punk sound from the likes of Teengenerate and the early Rip Off label bands. But along with the inherent snottiness, sarcasm, and trashiness of this musical subgenre, the Kidnappers manage to infuse their songs with a pop sensibility and real hooks (as on “Teenage Fever”), and their production is fortunately “mid-fi” (purportedly courtesy of Pete Townshend’s old soundboard!) rather than lo-fi. A fine punk album for the new century, and as their label emphasizes the band aren’t influenced at all by today’s super-lame “pop punk.” Mercifully. Jeff
@ www.aliensnatch.de

Kids of Widney High – “Act Your Age” CD 10/35:06
Third album featuring “special education” kids, backed by musically inclined adults with lively upbeat music, vocalizing on such songs as “Life without the Cow”, “I Make My Teachers Mad”, and “Santa in a Wheelchair”. One probably couldn’t be blamed if visions of Frogs flashbacks might flash through one’s head while listening to this, but this is actually a legit group. Not a little surreal (it’d definitely help if you find yourself shopping the “Outsider” section at your local Wal-Mart) but not bad and not without an (unforced) charm of its own, even if I’m not quite sure I’d utilize the “repeat” function on my player that often. David
@ www.kidsofwidneyhigh.com

Killer Dolls – “Devilsounds a go go” CD 10/19:32
First full-lengther from this Buenos Aires quartet, sung in English. Amicable if ultimately forgettable medium-tempo punkish rock. It’s solid and all that, and at least it has some spark to it, but I can’t say there’s enough here for it to warrant repeated listenings around this household. Always good to see this kind of music coming from “down south” but you can probably find better offerings from said region to choose from. David
@ www.nofunrecords.com

Killer Squirrel – “Self-Released and Loving It” CD 12/25:50
Didn’t expect much from this one-man homegrown record and, musically, that’s just what I got: not much. Half-baked, sparse, anti-social mini-anthems about the hypocrisy of the American Dream. While I agree with the squirrel when he rails against the rich on “Class War” and decries the sham of suburban life on “Suburban Hell”, there isn’t enough venom to make it deadly, just mildly irritating. He ups the ante on “Raindrops” and “Spy Vs. Spy” but if you’re trying to start a revolution this won’t get it done. Anthony
@ Operation Phoenix, PO Box 13380, Mill Creek, WA 98082

Killing Joke - s/t CD 10/55:54
Oh yes, it's the return of the brutal rock of Killing Joke, with Dave Grohl on drums. These guys have been scaring children with their apocalyptic politik rock for roughly 25 years (on and off) and certainly don't turn down the volume on this collection of new material. It certainly rocks the crap out of all the nu-metal stuff on the radio, and that's a great start. With the intensity up several notches, this is all about searing metal riffs, pounding (and I mean pounding) drums, and megaphone vocals, calling the troops to war in an unsettled world. Scott
@ www.killingjoke.com

Kim Fowley – “Impossible But True” CD 32/76:12
An anthology of Kim Fowley-related tracks is always to be welcomed. Two previous retrospective comps have already been released by Dionysus, and now Ace has gotten in on the act, concentrating on the 1959-1969 period. Punk fans are no doubt most familiar with his Svengali-like creation of snazzy teen babe groups like the Runaways and the Orchids, but the guy has been involved in producing, recording, managing, and fronting bands ever since the late ‘50s, ranging from surf to girl group to beat to garage to psych outfits. Most of the stuff herein is offbeat, clever, and infused with Fowley’s wacky sensibility, and is the product of a truly unique, bizarre, temperamental, and often pioneering personality. Includes classics like “The Trip”, “Gloria’s Dream”, and “People, Let’s Freak Out”. Jeff
@ www.acerecords.co.uk

Kim Weston - "The Best of Kim Weston" CD 11/35:19
In a stable of great voices, Motown's Kim Weston could belt 'em out with the best of them. Although best known for her duets with Marvin Gaye, a pair of which appear here, "Looking For the Right Guy", which never charted, rates with all but a handful of Motown classics. It was slated as Mary Wells' follow-up to "My Guy" when Wells became the first Motown artist to jump ship, leaving for a career of duds on the 20th Century Fox label. Other solid tunes here include "A Thrill A Moment" and her 1963 debut hit "Love Me All the Way". Mel
@ www.motown.com

Kimberly Rew - “Great Central Revisited” CD 13/36:23
With only three solo albums in twenty two years former guitarist and songwriter of Katrina and the Waves, Kimberly Rew must be living off the royalties of “Walking on Sunshine”. With little to offer on this album let’s hope he’s invested wisely. The former member of The Soft Boys has indeed grown too soft over the years. This is a disposable collection that makes me think he needs to start rewriting his resume for the next local job fair. Matthew
@ www.bongobeat.com

Kimone - "Meres of Twilight" CD 9/43:39
Leave it to a D.C. group to take the pensive, watery anthems of bands like Sigur Ros and The Doves and fashion them into airtight pop statements. While not especially memorable, Kimone's "Meres of Twilight" is a competent synthesis of math rock, post-punk, and a certain type of orchestral bombast that's become fairly common in our post-Radiohead world. Unfortunately, it's not as enthralling as it sounds. Yeah, these guys know how to rock out and write fully realized song structures. Their performances are taut and their lyrics suitably complex, but it amounts to very little. Produced by the ubiquitous J. Robbins - with his usual attention to sonic balance - "Meres of Twilight" offers an angular but ultimately tired perspective on your standard static-and-feedback-laden anthems, swelling ballads, and piano plinked spook-outs (that invariably crash into orchestral jams without really earning it). A mediocre album with very good intentions. John
@ www.kimone.com MP3 Download

Kimya Dawson – “I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean” CD 10/47:28
There seems to be something inherently polarizing about the recent crop of bands from New York City. There is no middle ground of opinion with Interpol or The Strokes or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They are either loved or reviled – and usually with the same measure of dedication and intensity. The Moldy Peaches are another of those divisive bands, but it’s fair to say that even the group’s staunchest opponents might find themselves taken aback by the solo record from Peach Kimya Dawson. As long on charm as it is sort on hijinks, “I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean” is a collection of wispy folk songs put over by Dawson’s elementary playing and frog-in-the-throat vocals. There are no revelations here, it’s just a collection of simple, lightweight folk songs driven by a distinctly childlike spirit. It’s a bit cutesy and a bit precious, but it is refreshingly free of the rampant juvenilia that carpetbombs so many of the Peaches better ideas. “I’m Sorry…” is a serviceable folk record that is completely inoffensive, if equally impermanent. J Edward
@ Rough Trade

King Django – “Meets the Scrucialists” CD 14/75:27
King Django is a ska singer from New York. He joined and recorded the Scrucialists in their native Switzerland. Together, they split the spliff on this mostly reggae collection. There are also a couple of riddim pieces with singer Dr. Ring-Ding. And although they’re all a bunch of white guys, their dedication shines through to give as strong a rendition as, say, Eric Burdon does to the blues and Mitch Ryder does with R&B (as opposed to the lameness of the Police’s version of reggae). There’s also an interesting interpretation of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” and the Cure’s “Six Different Ways.” Together, it’s all bangin’, even though I would have personally preferred more ska. RBF
@ www.stubbornrecords.com

King of France – “Salad Days” CD 10/33:16
Steve Salad (Salett?) has a voice with a range of A to C. And the band behind him tries so hard to be arty and dissonant, sometimes it sounds like they’re out of tune. Within all this, the group manages to maintain some pop sensibilities, and makes all the above sound like a collective. Whether it works or not depends on the listeners own toleration for excesses, but I’ve heard much worse within the same parameters. RBF
@ www.egretrecords.com

King of Prussia – “Blood Rains Down on My Hometown” CD 15/29:56
King of Prussia is the project of Philadelphia songwriter Sam Henderson, a guy with the positive sounding outlook of, say, John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats), but with more abstract wording and a sense of humor. King of Prussia gets help from a talented supporting cast that creates diverse bedroom pop songwriter tunes, most of which are memorable and connected directly to one’s moods. Henderson is quite prolific: he culled these 15 songs from an immense catalog of 400 songs. Honestly, picking 15 good ones shouldn’t have been a problem. It makes you wonder how he narrowed it down, why he didn’t just go ahead and put a few more on there, and what the hell is he going to do with the other 385 he didn’t use? Xtian
@ www.bestfriendrecords.com

King Radio – “Are You The Sick Passenger” CD 12/47:40
Frank Padellaro (ex-Scud Mountain Boys) takes a page out of former bandmate Joe Pernice’s book on this release, as this is somewhat reminiscent of the first Pernice Brothers album. The songs are much more ambitious than King Radio’s previous releases, with additional strings, electronic sampling, incredibly lush arrangements, Frank’s great vocals, and the nicely arranged backing vocals. Some songs are languid pop tunes with simple melodies and strummed guitars and lighter touches on the backing instrumentation, like the opening track, appropriately titled “Introduction”. Others take the sonic levels up a bit, retaining the lush orchestration but putting a more standard pop beat behind the song; my favorite track “Meet My Maker”, is a good example of this. There are moments where Padellaro seems to fall in love with all the effects just a bit too much, but this is a strong chamber pop CD. Steve
@ www.spirithouserecords.com

Kings of Nuthin’ – “Fight Songs…” CD 15/37:43
Second album from this Boston bunch, packed with pretty good rockabilly-cum-swing-punk (not that they’d probably identify with the latter term, but they do a better job of doing the jumpin’ jive thang than many a so-called swing revivialist). When they go out (as on “11 to 3”) they could really get a packed floor a-going. David
@ www.disasterrecords.com

Kinison - s/t CD 5/15:25
Five songs crammed into a neat package of frayed ended spaz rock with enough chops and breakdowns to fill a cafeteria full of campers gone retarded. In the end, I felt that Kinison had more to offer, but then I slept on that idea and threw this CD back on again and told my dumb ass to just shut up! I liked the five songs they let us all in on and found that even through the obnoxious rendering of screaming towards the front of the line made me cringe now and then, especially at 7:32 on a Wednesday morning, but that's what these boys are trying to do here so I just let it climb over me like some spider monkey. Good little monkey! And it helps that these guys are from the LA valley because that amount of smog really begins to mess with fragile little musicians minds and after a few inhales of Hwy 15 you begin to scream for no god damn good reason. Best thing to do is be in some band and let it all out and maybe get a tour in Montana or something. Breathe deep little buddy...it's gonna be all right! Whittaker
@ www.thekinison.com

Kipper Tin – s/t CD 5/16:41
Lead by Sarah Borges (also on guitar), this Boston band plays a form of indie emo rock. They’ve been getting lots of great press up in Beantown, and I can understand why. The songs are well thought out and played on an equal measure. Sarah’s voice is straightforward without any tricks (except an occasional – and purposeful – yodel). This CD contains their well-known demo, and one live cut. To me, it’s the live cut that shows how tight the band plays, and that it’s not all “studio.” Boston has produced some incredible underrated female led bands over the years, like Salem 66, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, etc. Let’s hope Kipper Tin is not one of them. RBF
@ www.kippertin.com

Kissing Tigers - "Trebuchet" CD 5/16:18
It took me a couple of listenings to figure out that they are really singing "I died in a mall" when I did, I laughed. Reminiscent of The Faint, Kissing Tigers sound good: tight, sassy, fast, and all this from a band that is just now nearing legal drinking age. This is a really well produced EP, the clear CD was a nice touch. I'll be looking out to see what they can do with a full length release. Pam
@ www.slowdance.com

Kloey – “The Kloey Afterschool Special” CD 15/44:52
Given the brightly-colored artwork and nostalgia-baiting album title, it’s something of a shock that the first sound on the second full-length from Minnesota’s Kloey is a lumbering, dirge-like guitar. The group continues to avoid indiepop trappings, mostly by crafting memorable pop songs that stand apart from many of their contemporaries. “Gotta Gotta” uses the four syllables of the title to remarkable effect, bouncing them around between the verses like a beachball as a bass pitches and rolls in the background. “Frustrated” opens up into a full-throttle chorus driven by grumbling guitar and ricocheting percussion. Kloey recalls much of what was right about indiepop in the early 90s, and The Kloey Afterschool Special is recommended listening for anyone longing for the salad days of Go Sailor and Talulah Gosh. – J. Edward
@ www.nucleargopher.com

Knockout - “Searching For Solid Ground” CD 12/38:41
Energetic pop-punk that hopped it’s way from Illinois to record on Fearless. Their core sound of sharp guitars and punchy vocals is polished and shows a musical maturity that belies their youth. (They all look to be about sixteen in the inside photo.) Jeff Warren’s vocals have more appeal than many of the clowns MTV/FM radio parade before the kiddies. This is probably just the beginning for these guys. Anthony
@ www.fearlessrecords.com

Knucklehead - “Hostage Radio” CD 7/16:02
Tight, heavy HC and punk with strong melodic choruses and guitar parts. Their P.R. sheet describes this Canadian band’s music as “streetpunk,” but I think their songs are generally too fast and slickly produced to fall into that necessarily primitive category. “Shelters” and “Flight of the Living Dead” are by far the best tracks here, mainly because they have a pronounced Oi influence. If you ask me, “Flight” is almost certain to become a classic in that genre. Jeff
@ Longshot, 726 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4, Canada

Komputer – “Market Led” CD 8/51:29
Haven’t heard their first album (which was supposedly more Kraftwerk-based electro-pop) but this is sparse, almost skeletal post-electronica beats-and-samples-tweaking; the kind of music that robots dance to after a hard day at work. Works best when they fill out said skeleton a bit, such as on the nice earlier-Kraftwerk vibe of “Joanna”. Folks into the more adventurous side of “e-music” (as opposed to the folks who pay attention to the BPMs on sleeves) should be able to get into this. David
@ www.mute.com

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