When I was a teenager growing up in a sub-industrial town that someone once told me is one of the most segregated cities per capita or had the most bars per square mile per capita or both or some other nonsensical strange random fact it seemed that when I hit the age of sixteen everyone around me at the time was starting a band.
I remember instead of going home after school to do my homework like all the lame smart kids who probably have a stable income now, did, I went into various basements of latchkey kids and smoked pot and cigarettes and listened to bands practice in that short window of time before their parents came home and killed all the fun.
So I understood completely the woes of singer-guitarist Connor Pitre who had been trying since 2011 to put a band together. Pitre had the band’s name all set: King Kudos, the only problem was that he didn’t have the other members, or at least members who could or would commit to the effort it takes to being in a band which is something that people who are not in bands don’t understand. But last year, after five long years of searching Pitre found brothers Tommy and Will Foley to play bass and drums and guitarist Jackson Bounds and the four finally formed the Voltron that is the alternative rock outfit King Kudos.
The quartet’s debut record Love Is a Dying Art grabbed me from the start with ‘90s alt-rock opener “Like Clockwork” which like clockwork itself is a heavily verse chorus verse myriad of feed back guitars and an aria laden lyrical melody whose lyrics ask questions to the “you understood.” Next then comes the stomp-rocker “Love is…” on which Pitre laments “love is patient love is blind / and it gets me every time.” The lyrics are simple and astute at the same time. He sings them as the guitars and bass choog and the drums crash in a stalwart syncopation and perhaps a bit of nostalgia for my youth choked my heart. But in this mist of reverence I also was struck by the production value, something which I rarely comment on, but I feel the need to note here because Love is a Dying Art was recorded and mastered by drummer Will Foley and sounds amazing.
Moving on the boys work their way into a radio-friendly rock hit on “Ode to Being Lonely” and then they take a little bit of an experimental chance changing it up on the less conservative “Quite a Dilemma” which bleeds into the bright forward thinking confessional-pop closer “Given a Chance.”
The fact that Love is a Dying Art was made at all makes me happy. It’s the coming to of fruition of an idea that was a long time in the making. The songs are straightforward and pure; the step on the first stone of more stones, hopefully to come.
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