District Kabuto is a one-man classic rock operation out of Michigan who has bestowed upon us his album Audio Medic. If you go in order, the first track you’re going to hear is “Chills.” As soon as the song kicked off I could feel my hair crimping and my acid wash jeans on my body, holy cow I had somehow time traveled back to the ’80s. Be aware, this time warp effect will stick with you throughout the album.
Now with a sound so clearly pulled from this particular decade, there are a few pluses to be had. One, some seriously rad guitar work, which is delivered in this album in spades. There’s also fantastic, satirical lyrics that I don’t want to give away but I strongly recommend track number three “Coffee” to get a few of those good gems. District Kabuto also provides some totally sick vocals. I am almost convinced that his voice alone induces the time travel phenomenon that take place when you listen. It’s utterly radical.
The initial issue I ran into was that the music almost sounds more like a tribute band even though this is all original work. I think the artist has an incredible ear and is able to create derivative work that in my opinion is a bit too on the nose. I can tell this album was a love letter to his influences but the sound is dated and nostalgic. Again, his being able to make me feel like I was traveling through time is testament to his incredible hearing ability.
I am always amazed at what one person can do nowadays. He built himself a whole band which is no small task. He clearly knew the sound he was going for and built it from the ground up. Being a pretty big alternative and electronic fan, it is rare I will curl my nose at digital percussion. There were so many moments in the songs where an organic drum sound would have really helped punctuate his lyrics.
I wish I could hear his voice with a live band; I honestly don’t think he’d have trouble finding one because he’s got great pipes. I have to admit I would love to hear that voice paired with a more modern rock music. That being said there were plenty of things that were executed well. I just think collaborating with others could really elevate what District Kabuto has to offer. If you’re someone who has been yearning to take a trip back to a specific era in rock history, then this is your album.
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