Kilgore Trout – Novocaine EP

Kilgore Trout
Novocaine EP

Ugh. A mercifully brief three-song EP that can be summed up in as many words: stink, stank, stunk (apologies to Theodore Geisel).

Sounding like a thousand other bands nominally influenced by the Pixies (more likely Weezer) with a hard rock/metal guitar crunch and male/female vocal harmonies, Kilgore Trout has the distinction of being the most superfluous band I’ve heard since Damn Yankees. It isn’t necessarily bad – truly bad records are at least entertaining – it’s just deadly mediocre and has already been done and done and done and done.

I’ll charitably compare the verse of “Beautiful” to a Pernice Brothers afterthought and the chorus to an inspired Nickelback. I think that’s fair. Definitely could be worse, but I think I’d rather it to be worse, much worse preferably. “I’ll Make You Mine” begins with some promising howling and a riff Kula Shaker might have envied way back when, ultimately improving on the previous track if only for Jeremy Gray’s attitudinal vocals, a kind of drawling snottiness that I don’t really buy, but it sounds cool. At least they save the best for last. The title song periodically compels with its sharper hooks; it’s okay.

The band’s website is confusing, too. Click on shit and nothing happens. Not to mention the band copped the name of a Kurt Vonnegut hero for its handle. I’m not quite sure what a Kurt Vonnegut-inspired band might sound like, but I’d like to hear it. This ain’t it!

The musicians in Kilgore Trout have managed to peek their heads above the waters of pop success; that’s more that many ever accomplish, including me. “Don’t patronize me!” I hear them say. You’re right. Novocaine is boring and I never want to hear it again.