Go back a couple of years – 2020 to be precise. The world was being locked-down. Kevin K was also having to deal with the passing of his father a future with no financial certainty and the very real prospect of homelessness.
The pandemic hit bands and artists who needed to be out on the road to make a living hardest its where they got by be it America or this side of the pond on mainland Europe.
Kevin did what many others did and sat at home writing and writing and doing a little more writing – waiting for the day they could venture out further than their local food store. Luckily for Kevin the songs found their way out and he was the conduit for what fell from the skies.
Pandemic eased and a chance to let the world have the songs that would be ‘Cadillac Man’. Enough tunes for two albums A huge body of work that pays homage to his idols like Johnny Thunders, the Stones and Ramones Hell he even pays tribute to Da Bruthers with the tune ‘No Ramones’. Kevin K chips in with an earthy organic album that’s pressed on CD and not vinyl Uses a drum machine and home recordings. Now I’m not at ease with the drum machine its quite the early Alesis drum machine sound rather than some of the new home recording like drum tracks but Kevin isn’t someone who sounds like he embraces modern tech and would go for the warm analogue sound anyway but don’t let it detract from the songs which is what Kevin K does well. Hes a musician and a songwriter first and foremost.
It’s power pop n Rock n Roll no tricks or smart arse studio saucery its all about the songs.
The one thing I would say is this album is more Stonesy than previous offerings and the Exile vibe shines through. I’m sure Kevin K would be familiar with Exile and all it stands for and has tried to capture the feel and vibe.
KEVIN K plays every instrument on every song which is cool and considering this is his thirty third album hes come up trumps on the songwriting front and fair play to him. Using open G like Keif Richards Kevin had to reinvent himself and learning how the five string open G works has been the guiding light for these songs.
There are songs about growing up (‘Pendleton’), NYC (‘Village Girl’, ‘1989’). There are songs about loss (‘I Miss You’, ‘Tear Drops Don’t Stop’, ‘You Let Me Down’), songs about lockdowns and the weird world we live in (‘No Respect’, ‘Dum Days’, ‘Zombie Heat’), and hopelessness (‘Start Me Down’).
Fans who’ve been with Kevin K forever or more recently over the past few decades are gonna love the songs on this record and there will be those who are discovering him recently and will have the daunting prospect of delving into his catalogue. One thing for sure is the twenty songs on offer are enough to keep you delving in or playing from top to bottom A post pandemic world where Kevin K is making albums is a good place to be and I do hope he continues to hold the traditions handed down to him from the good and greats and runs and passes on the baton. Keep on Rockin and Rollin Mr K you Rolls Royce.
Author: Dom Daley