Quirky, cute, “undefined” rockers seem to be dominating the modern music scene, one of the most prominent being the British quartet christened The Kooks. Hailing from Brighton, East Sussex, England, the group officially started in 2001 with no apparent aim at a specific genre. If you are looking for the dreamy, indie ballads that usually characterize British pop music, such as icons The XX and Florence and the Machine, you might be disappointed.
Influenced by funk, punk, soul, and roots rock, the Kooks combine a mixture of genres to create a unique, eclectic sound, ranging from the gritty, garage-band guitars of (in)famous “Eddie’s Gun,” a twisted track relaying the difficulties of erectile dysfunction, to the soft-spoken track “Seaside“–and that’s just their debut album, Inside In/Inside Out. Fresher material includes tunes just as eccentric and broad, notably their latest hit, “Junk of the Heart,” off the 2011 album titled the same. Lead vocalist Luke Pritchard’s voice carries that notorious accented punker wail while he proclaims, “I want to make you happy, I want to make you feel alive.” Rootsy synths take the song to a more distant, psychedelic place, as is much the same on “Rosie.” But no matter individual preference, there’s a Kooks song for everyone.
Though each track is contrasting and unique, making each album a little adventurous, the Kooks have definitely kept one thing constant: dang good songs. Simple, honest lyrics and raw vocals evoke an almost sensual closeness and relation to each and every tune. Even their covers–such as Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” and MGMT’s “Kids“–sound original. Try not to get sucked into the chaotic, whirling gamut of heartfelt, raw music that is the Kooks and you will probably fail. Charming, quirky, and bluntly beautiful, the Kooks are just too kooky to resist.
Bri Considine is an aspiring journalist and amateur wordsmith. You can find her passing the days with a good book and a strong cup of joe (and, of course, relishing in the stories in her head). Music, writing, and peanut butter are her passions.