Thursday, April 12, 2012

Album Review: Baseball Season


Title:  Baseball Season (BandCamp, Animal Style Records, Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Artist:  Kite Party (Official, BandCamp, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Last.fm)

Kite Party is an indie rock/indie pop band from Philadelphia, PA.  The band’s music is a fascinating mix of American DIY indie rock, emo, and British indie pop.  Throughout Baseball Season one can hear hints of Archers of Loaf, Fugazi, and Chapterhouse with an occasional Joe Strummer-esque howl.  These are not sounds/influences that one would imagine would sound good together, but they do—somehow Kite Party makes this work. 

The record opens with jangling guitar on the track “Welcome to Miami.”  The opening notes really remind me of another PA band, The Ocean Blue, but once the song kicks-in everything changes.  The tendency for wussiness that is often associated with British indie pop/baggy/Manchester/shoegazer music is replaced with a punk infused raw edge.  It’s almost like Kite Party has taken bands like Ride and The Charlatans UK and channeled them through At the Drive-In, The Replacements, and The Clash.  In fact, that’s pretty much how this entire record sounds.  It’s one of those records that is hard to nail down while at the same time sounding incredibly familiar.  One of the record’s standout moments is “Spirit Gun,” a song with a fantastic chorus.

Kite Party is not a band for the faint of heart.  Don’t get me wrong, this is great stuff; Baseball Season is an excellent record, but it is a record that will ask a lot of the listener.  Kite Party has put together something that is actually fairly unique here and that is rare in this day and age.  It’s not that the band has created some new sound, because they haven’t, it’s that they have created a sound from such divergent sources that trying to pigeonhole this band and record is pretty much impossible.     

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