Kickovers – Osaka


Nate Albert, former guitarist of the well known ska-outfit the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Mikey Welsh, former Weezer bassist, team up with newcomers Johnny Rioux and Jamie Vavra to form a new poppy punk band, the Kickovers. The Kickovers open their first full-length album with a 15-second Zappa-inspired ranting confession of their plasticity. This opening track is pretty jagged, in a good or bad way depending on how you look at it, but the boys round off the corners over the next 12 songs.
On “Black and Blue,” and throughout the CD, they keep the lyrics pretty accessible:”I know you leave my black and blue / But what the fuck am I supposed to do.” “Heart Attack,” the bands most likely radio single, is packed with energy and a lot of fuzzy bass. Albert sings, “I want to be a heart-attack” over the whining electric guitar and the pounding drums. Then it cuts to a guitar solo that sounds like a power-saw ripping through 2x4s.
On the ninth track, the Kickovers give their version of “Hanging on the Telephone.” This Blondie redo is perfectly suitable for a punk-cover CD. It’s raspier than the original, of course, and a little briefer than its predecessor. Well if that was pop-goes-punk, the next track, “Crash and Burn,” is punk-gone-country. It opens sounding like a Wallflower’s song, than adds that twang for a perfect country sound.
The closer, “The Good Life,” starts off sounding an awful lot like that Sum41 song, if not exactly the same. (My momma should have had an abortion?) It’s a depressing little number, “Tell me where is the good life right now.” I can’t quite understand all the lyrics; too bad they aren’t in the CD.
You will like the Kickovers if you like punk music, but not the fact that all the words in punk music usually seem to slur together. (I always thought that was a plus myself.) These guys have a lot in common with some of the radio punk bands – catchy hooks, catchy choruses, good production – but they don’t yell much. Perhaps “punkternative” would be a good word.