Though based in Boston, People The Kangaroo boast international roots. Lead vocalist/keyboardist Alan Wurmanis is Chilean, guitarist Matias Rengel is from Argentina, bassist Gervais Mallord is from France and drummer Donnie Hogue hails from the good ole USA. Though it was a certain universally felt event, The Boston Marathon bombing inspired People The Kangaroo’s first single, “We Can Still Say I Love You.” The band also shot and edited a rather successful video for the song, which was released along with the single.
On their debut EP, the tongue in cheek entitled Greatest Hits Vol. 3, People The Kangaroo exhibit a theme of a band that tries not to take itself too seriously, though all the while making some seriously good music. Right from the get go, it becomes clear that these four boys have mastered their instruments and mastered the art of playing together. “Blue Filter (clicking clicking)” has piano interludes and Wurmanis’s schizophrenic vocals that at times are run through a CB microphone. It nicely illustrates the musical range and inspiration that People The Kangaroo possess.
“Time is Running Faster” is a straight up rock and roll blitzkrieg with screeching Slash-inspired guitar hooks and solos, bouncy piano rolls and a chorus that crashes like waves during a storm. It showcases how amazingly tight People The Kangaroo are, which is rare for a band that has only been playing together for a year now and has only released a handful of songs.
“Hit You” sounds a little like Ben Folds Five and a lot like Minneapolis piano rocker Mark Mallman. At turns both funny and fierce the guitar and drums hold back during the verses and then come together in an explosion of sound and speed as the keys and bass blend in. All the while Wurmanis’s soaring vocals command control of the song. The result is a raucous ride on a three-minute pop-rock roller coaster.
The final tune “Earth” again mixes balladry with metal-inspired rock. The chorus quietly gets the song’s message across, before blowing up into an all out assault of rock-riffs and speed metal drum beats and then closing on a jazzy piano riff.
By the time Greatest Hit’s Vol. 3 ends one thing is very clear; that ear buds and house speakers do not do People The Kangaroo justice. The sound and instrumental precision this band possesses can only truly be enjoyed live. If People The Kangaroo is ever passing through your town, run, don’t walk to go and see them.
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