Kick Up The Fire release new Money Men EP
It’s crazy to think that it’s been three years since we first excitedly posted about Kick Up The Fire. With a reputation for electrifying live shows and an ever improving repertoire they’ve have seemingly been in ascent with every mention on this blog.
Having followed the South East London outfit for so long I must admit I was slightly wary of this write up; to put it simply following up on 2010′s excellent Self-titled EP would have been a tough ask for any band. I shouldn’t have worried because ‘Money Men‘ epitomizes everything I need/want from a modern guitar record… and then some.
Opener “Loaded” really sets the tone for the entire EP starting things off with the not so subtle critique of men’s lifestyle magazines. A direct line can be drawn to previous favourites such as ‘These Canvas Shoes” with the 4-piece offering crescendos and melodic jabs aplenty. Boasting razor sharp guitar riffs and an enviable vocal delivery (even allowing bassist Thom to croon a very accomplished Sting-like “oooohhh“) . The chorus is easily one of the best refrains I’ve heard this year.
Next up “Spiders” focuses on the phone hacking scandal that has been dominating UK headlines recently. Animal lovers may find themselves taken aback by the cat referencing lyric but listen carefully and you will find a neat metaphor for the entire sorry spectacle. The fact that this track may well be band’s poppiest moment to date, thanks in part to some stellar production work by Chicago based producer Mr Got Mics, should not be understated because it makes the entire bitter blow much sweeter to swallow.
“Takeover” continues in the bands love/hate rapport with Britain‘s amazing and amazingly infuriating capital and could be considered a sequel of sorts to “No Fun In London“. This time the target of their scorn is crazy commuters set on autopilot on public transportation. Despite the iffy subject the track is possibly the most upbeat moment of the EP chosing to make light of these ridiculous situations rather than find fault with it’s protagonists. A special mention must also be made to the band’s now trademark gang vocals that step in to give the track it’s mean sneer.
EP closer “White Cube” may represent the next step in KUTF natural evolution. Besides boasting some excellent offbeat guitars and a a slower tempo than previous tracks the lyrics share a far more gloomy, yet certainly not defeated, outlook. It sits slightly at odds with anything the band have recorded previously channeling a Interpol meets The Clash vibe. Supposedly this is a true story of a surreal night the band experienced in a Hoxton art gallery where an open bar seemed like a good time to mingle with homeless prowlers and hipsters alike.
The tail end sax crescendo- said to be a tribute to the legendary sax player Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band- is expertly handled by saxophonist Pete Fraser ( of Man Like Me and The Pogues fame) and lends an apocalyptic feel taking the entire track to another dimension.
In just over 12 minutes Kick Up The Fire succeeded in birthing their grittiest set of tracks to date while simultaneously releasing their most outwardly pop release. This is a good thing. This EP is a good thing.