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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Album review - Kicksound - Kicksound

Kicksound's debut EP is bursting with more musical ideas than its four tracks can hold.
Kicksound's EP. Courtesy Kicksound
Kicksound's EP. Courtesy Kicksound

Kicksound

Kicksound

(self-released)

Four stars

During the countdown to this eponymous release, Dubai-based alt-rock trio Kicksound released 30 daily teaser videos of them rocking either a riff from a classic rock song, or one of their own. It was a fitting idea – because this debut taster is bursting with more musical ideas than its four tracks can hold. The award-winning opener By Now picked up radio play long before the release of this EP. It packs a melodic guitar hook, grungy verse stomp, punk bridge, random Hendrix chord, big rock-radio chorus, tasty chromatic segue, guitar-­hero solo, feedback-laden ambient breakdown and a riff-tastic funk-rock outro. All in little more than four minutes. The frenetic, angsty Brain Dead is nearly as well-stocked, driven by frontman Olly Ephgrave’s distorted, impassioned growl, while the bass-led groove of Holy Prize shows off the band’s sizeable technical chops. Influences are worn proudly as badges of honour – there’s a hint of the Smashing Pumpkins’ classic Cherub Rock to the poppier Find a Way – among an overabundance of musical ideas, stacked and served up with both bite and finesse. Rock has been dying a slow death for decades. With Kicksound at the helm, it goes out screaming.