In an age where underground bands have more of a voice than ever, the claim on a music lover/writer’s time is huge, and you really you need to seek out the personal touch as quickly as possible. Take Kubicheck! on their Myspace page, where their musical influences are listed as “Rubbish parties, rubbish nightclubs, rubbish bands, rubbish jobs.” So far so mundane.
It says on Frog’s blog that Kubicheck! want everyone to get to the front at their gigs. He also states he’s just ate a dinner of pasta and meatballs and an aubergine dish he doesn’t know the name of. He can spell “aubergine” though, which is a good thing. Though I bet he doesn’t know that aubergines, as well as being the perfect compliment to rich and fatty dishes, are also effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, possibly for the same reason. We can spare his insensitivity this time, but it really is systematic of our careerist youth.
There’s no career profit in knowing the insides out of an aubergine, just as there’s none in injecting a bit of personal soul into a song. Both are boring endeavours, so let’s have some surface fun, look good while doing it, and make some money like those Razorlight boys. I notice the fans are looking forward to their gigs. Jason knows the Norwich one is going to be ace just like religion thought the world flat, and he has a host of pals to back him up.
So here’s what’s gonna happen. An ethereal glimmer of keyboards gives way after one second to a stomping indie tune carved out of the populous tree and everyone goes crazy. They’re into it right away, but it’s a little like Hitler’s Germany, without the moustaches. They’ve been outlawed. Stop and start again and more guitar lines. I can relate a little to “Too many people looking angry / and they dress to reflect that they’re hotter than anyone”. This is great. Singer Alan’s looking for something “more than the agitation of the city centre,” he’s got “no energy for listening, so let’s just dance”. But we can do that so much better to The Pipettes. And maybe then we can also smile.
The single, Nightjoy, is approved by not only journo hacks but also the dark rhythmic gods. Al’s earnestness here veers into deeper territory than before, and everything fits together in a way that’s more than just a dance of lost souls. Nightjoy points beyond the prosaic and morose, and Jason and his pals get their eight quid’s worth for this alone. But I’d want money back for Hope is Impossible, which is a hackneyed piece of indie emo in the jaded spirit of Lost Prophets.
More guitars, rich loops, pretty creative, pulsing drum beats that remind me of The Little Ones. Stutter just ends up making me want to skip the track. And I do. If only you could do this at a live gig. There�s a bleak, menacing drawing of a crow on the Not Enough Night LP sleeve. I’ve just noticed it, and it kind of telegraphs the band’s sound before you hear it. Like a pass you see coming in football from the opposition full back and you step in front to intercept. I could have skipped their Myspace if I paid more attention to it before. As it is I’ll just skip Method Acting. It’s boring as a night in a suburban allotment.
I hope there’s not only one hit here that’ll entice me when there’s a nearby dancefloor. Outwards could be it, its sharply chiming guitars living and dying the life of kings, but it is a bit like a trendy Stereophonics. Opening Shot could be it. It’s certainly promising, and I’ll go back for more when I get a spare hundred years. Still waiting then, and Hometown Strategies is like a ghost bus that takes you to hell with inflated fares. How many tracks left? Two? I�ve really started to lose hope. Track eleven is called Start As We Mean To … (enigmatic missing words). Go on, perhaps? It was actually a nice bit of atmospherica until a ballad emerged like a chain-pub in an old church.
“There is nothing better than playing it safe,” Al intones with untold, ulterior meaning, but I’m thinking there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good book about aubergines. I tried with Kubicheck!, I really did, but to no avail. It was insult to injury when their exclamation mark got in my eye.