Kagoule Enter The Radar With 'Urth'
When Subba-Cultcha reviewed Nottingham based Kagoule’s live show in Leeds back in April, there was much anticipation and excitement in the air for what their debut record would bring. Lo and behold, 'Urth', released 21st August via Earache Records, delivers and exceeds expectations. The three-piece band have already caused quite a stir and gained much attention, yet 'Urth' is an album that, even on first listen, is almost certain to garner yet more hype around Kagoule.
Having heard a number of tracks off 'Urth' in the context of their live performance, it’s wonderful to finally experience something more concrete. However, for those who have not yet been exposed to the sound of vocalist/guitarist Cai Burns, bassist/vocalist Lucy Hatter and drummer Laurence English, though the chances of this seem slim given their popularity, the band have a unique grunginess quality. Indeed, there are explicit 90's elements in their music, yet it is their crisp refinement that sets them apart.
The first three tracks, "Gush", "Adjust the Way" and "Glue" have all previously been released. Although they are familiar, and somewhat played to death on this writer’s part, all three are infectiously engaging examples of why Kagoule are making such a name for themselves.
The guitar riff in "Gush" lingers on in the mind long after listening, whilst ‘Adjust the Way’ is a fuzz-heavy track, saturated in a sort of strangeness. "Damp Sand" is noisy yet somewhat melodic, whilst "Empty Mug" is a much thrashier track on the album. It’s also one of the most exciting tracks to hear on the record. Even though it is the shortest, coming in at just under one minute twenty, Hatter takes the lead by contributing with chilling screams.
Another relatively short track, "Greenbeefo" is without vocals. Where it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the weird and wonderful lyrics that Kagoule have to offer, "Greenbeefo" is the perfect opportunity to hammer hard how technically neat Burns, Hatter and English are together.
"Centralwing" is energetic and exciting. With its noisy chorus and catchy riffs, compelling sounds dipping in and out, it’s a true gem. "Made of Concrete", in which Hatter takes charge of vocals, is a highlight of 'Urth', on an album of solid songs. It’s a lot slower compared to other tracks. Drenched in reverb, with Hatter’s illuminating vocals, there’s a dreamlike quality to it whilst it remains firmly in the realm of Kagoule’s distinctive style.
"Open Mouth" is sparse on vocals, yet the harmony between Burns and Hatter when they do occur is charming, against Kagoule’s signature earthy fuzz. "Mike" is noisy, strange and entirely brilliant. Whilst closing track "It Knows It" seems a perfect way to conclude 'Urth'. Regardless of being a previous release, it captures Kagoule at it’s best.
If Kagoule have not already made it under your radar, it’s about time this changes.
For more information on Kagoule click here
To visit Kagoule's facebook account click here
Words by Ellen Brown