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The Kooks - Let's Go Sunshine (Album Review)

Monday, 03 September 2018 Written by Liam Turner

Photo: Andrew Whitton

The UK indie boom of the early noughties produced some genuinely great bands, with Arctic Monkeys, the Libertines and Bloc Party all exploding onto the scene. Many of them are still going strong today, having maintained at least some semblance of cultural relevance and commercial success.

But there’s also that other category of bands, those who got off to a solid start but fell off a creative cliff as the years went on. Chief among them are the Kooks, whose new LP ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ perhaps proves conclusively that their best days are behind them.

After a 20 second scene-setter, the record opens with the unremarkable Kids. Everything about the song is lazy, from the endless ‘woah-woahs’, the likes of which crop up again many times on the record, to the relentless rhyming couplets (“When I don’t have a choice is when I find my voice”) that plague every verse and chorus.

Let’s talk further about those words. There are many areas where this record falls flat, but the lyrical department takes the biscuit. On Chicken Bone Luke Pritchard sings: “I don’t mean to be jealous, but my eyes have seen you with fellas.” On Believe he adds: “I’m not a body, I’m just a soul.” What does that mean? What is it that the Kooks are trying to say?

Then there’s the strange mishmash of tunes. Pamela is a faux-punk banger that sounds like a Busted song, while Honey Bee poses as an early rock ‘n’ roll love letter that Cliff Richard might have written with his Shadows. About four or five tracks could’ve been dropped here and, while the remainder wouldn’t have been anything special, at least there would have been a bit of consistency.

Now, it’s not all bad. The Kooks haven’t lost the knack for producing a meaty hook, as the poppy All The Time shows. Some of the slower tracks are also fine, such as the pleasant, plodding closer No Pressure, and Tesco Disco, a solemn ode to a friend going through hard times (“You got it bad sister, I’m looking out for you”). But that’s it. In 2017 the Kooks released a compilation album titled ‘The Best of…So Far’. If ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ is anything to go by there’ll soon be no need to keep that last bit.

The Kooks Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon September 03 2018 - BELFAST Limelight
Wed September 05 2018 - LONDON Moth Club
Sat September 08 2018 - OBAN Corran Halls
Sun September 09 2018 - MIDDLESBROUGH Middlesbrough Empire
Mon September 10 2018 - BEXHILL ON SEA De La Warr Pavilion

Click here to compare & buy The Kooks Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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