Punk with a twist of pop and fun doesn’t have to be all about teen angst or a bunch of naked idiots running on a beach. No, no, no… now it can finally be about great songwriting and musical ability.
Ex-Mighty Mighty Bosstone guitar superhuman Nate Albert has taken another giant step in the musical world by unleashing the energetic and perfectly crafted pop-punk Osaka [Fenway Recordings] with his new crew, The Kickovers. Ditching his ska background for this new adventure, Albert relies on his best trait – his stellar, painfully articulate guitar riffage and nerve-tingling vocals.
It’s Albert’s axe that drives the music forward, while ex-Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh hammers out jumpy basslines. The best combo of the two comes in “Heart Attack”, with Albert turning towards more distortion and grit than in most other tracks. It’s punk at its best: three chords, less than a minute-thirty, and draws you in with allure and catchiness faster than a 300-watt halogen lamp does for a moth. The brilliance shines through from simple songs written so well, they come across as complex.
Albert’s voice for the greater portion of the album takes on a sincere, trustworthy tone, especially during the soul-searcher “Regeneration” and the anthem of uncertainty “Black and Blue”. Albert’s guitar clinic continues on “Diamonds to Ashes”, with searing tremolo and sledgehammer riffs.
With the guidance of Fenway Records founder Mark Kates, the man behind much of Nirvana’s success and former Grand Royal president, the album spews with the confidence to go anywhere it wants.
To order the album, or for more info on the band, check out www.thekickovers.com.