EP Review: The Kenneths - 'EX EP'
First of all,something you already know. Music is best when it's stripped back. In every sense. I just graduated a music degree and some of the music we had to learn and listen to was either of the highest grade of pretension or produced to within an inch of his life. We were taught how to "perform" but not how to express ourselves. That is something that has to come naturally. So if a band like The Kenneths were brought to the table they would be laughed out of the room. And that is why this EP is an essential listen for 2018. In an age where it seems to be cool to be all technical and all futuristic and all that shit, these bois and gals are the total antithesis of this.
The 'EX EP' is punk rock in it's purest form. Three chords and the truth. Delivered with the kind of inextinguishable energy that usually can only be captured live, it is damn near impossible to start a one man mosh pit when these songs come on. "Favourite Ex" is potentially the best opening track to a record this year and in a year of 'Let's Make Out' by Dream Wife that is truly saying something. Sung by drummer Aicha, it's a direct, darkly funny paean to a lost love that is best screaming to than crying to. The fact that its appeared on Made in Chelsea is a sad sad dilution of what punk music is meant to stand for but I'll try desperately to look past that.
The energy only increases on single "Model Man"(this time sung by guitarist Josh who incidentally looks like any member of The New York Dolls combined together with a bad photo of Jaden Smith when all put in a 3D printer- read:cool as fuck) which sounds like if The Dead Kennedy's grew up with Instagram "listening to Cyndi Lauper". "Emulsion" is 102 seconds of riffs, noise and traded vocals and "I Don't Want to Go Out With You" is even less seconds of even more riffs, noise and traded vocals.
With this release, The Kenneths have somehow brought 1977 into 2018 seamlessly. Sometimes these things can reek of cheese, but these guys play with more urgency, fun and cool than any of their peers do right now. Please though, don't do Made in Chelsea again. It's like if Jonny Rotten did butter adverts or something.
Words by James Kitchen
'EX EP' is released the Friday 20th April 2018