The Kooks – Konk (2008)

The Kooks - KonkI guess it would be too kooky to label the British quartet The Kooks as being part of the fun rock genre. It sounds immature, I know, but in a way it’s appropriate for what the guys (Luke Pritchard — vocals, guitar; Hugh Harris — guitar; Dan Logan — bass; Paul Garred — drums) from Brighton are all about.

The band’s debut album Inside In/Inside Out didn’t make much of an impact here in the States, but their sophomore album Konk might be the refreshing thirst quencher that indie lovers are craving for. Gloom is nonexistent, and surprisingly there’s not much moping around or even the slightest bit of despondency. But be prepared for some sappiness.

The Kooks feel like a warm bunch of guys; ready, willing, and able to do anything and everything. It’s this open-mindedness (could even be mistaken for uncertainty) that allows the foursome to make songs about God (“Mr. Maker”) and even include a recitation of the alphabet in “One Last Time.”

There’s a distinct infectiousness to The Kooks’ music, which has made the quartet compared at length to The Beatles. The Fab Four aren’t a bad band to be influenced by, but I think any similarities are in energy only and not so much style. Even if The Beatles still existed in the new millennium, they probably wouldn’t have made the blunt “Do You Wanna?” song. I’m sure you can figure out what the song title cleverly omits.

What makes the Kooks so memorable are their super-catchy choruses, as in the opening track “See The Sun” with “For all the times I never never turned away / And now she is there on someone else’s arms” and in “Always Where I Need To Be” with the repeating “do dos.”

The Kooks don’t change it around much on Konk, but when they do, pleasures like the emotionally stripped down “Gap” and the acoustic pseudo-reggae “Tick Of Time” come about. They help alter the mood a bit, with the latter track initiating the album’s wind down process. As much fun as some days are, they eventually end with a good night’s sleep.

The Kooks

[photo via Tom Sheehan]

The Kooks

[photo via Timothy Norris]

The Kooks

[photo via Bao Nguyen]

Track list:

    1. See The Sun
    2. Always Where I Need To Be
    3. Mr. Maker
    4. Do You Wanna
    5. Gap
    6. Love It All
    7. Stormy Weather
    8. Sway
    9. Shine On
    10. One Last Time
    11. Tick Of Time
    12. All Over Town (hidden track)

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