>Greetings for a second time ANBADers, I have returned. Yes, that’s right, my probationary period with ANBAD continues, and with it so do my first tentative steps into the world of music writing. I feel I must begin with a confession. Whilst searching for today’s band, I became scared. I began to realise that in committing myself to even one review a week, I would have to give up hours of my free time searching for that one band that really made it all worthwhile. What would happen if I just couldn’t find a band I really wanted to listen to? I wondered, quite seriously, how ANBAD creator Joe has managed to do this for so long (he’s already written a freaking book) without going literally insane.
So I was thinking, you know, maybe I’m just not cut out for this. It all got a little bit too much for me to take, until Joe stepped in, put a kindly hand on my shoulder* and said: “Come on champ, you can do it. I believe in you.” All of a sudden I felt rejuvenated, as though I had been born again. And then, like magic, I found today’s band. Let’s just say they’re less German Electro, more Glaswegian/Fiferian not-particularly-pigeonholeable-I-really-don’t-want-to-say-singer-
songwriter-for-fear-that-you-might-think-of-dross-like-(insert-uninspiring-singer-songwriter-here). Anyway, it’s time to put the best china out along with the good biscuits, and welcome My Kappa Roots to the ANBAD home.
Firstly let’s get things straight, I like a lot of singer-songwriters. But lazily comparing My Kappa Roots to a mixture of Nick Drake and Bonnie “Prince” Billy just wouldn’t do now would it? Suffice to say that My Kappa Roots are more than just the sum of their influences. For instance, When the Reign Came to an End makes me bemoan the Delgados splitting-up a little less, and that really is saying something. Its beautiful melody, supported by a sparse drum machine arrangement (if you listen on headphones you’ll really get the benefit of his self-harmonising as well) is soothing and has a, for want of a better word epic quality.
A Golden Age has a beautiful guitar intro, which holds its own throughout the song, and melody delivered with a both lovely and non-smug whisper (yes, I didn’t think it was possible either). Port CW does the vulnerable loud-quiet-loud thang commendably (for the benefit of pedantic readers, yes it is technically quiet-loud-quiet-loud), with whining guitars and grumbling noise followed swiftly by the musical equivalent of down time.
My Kappa Roots’ lack of a “folk-by-numbers” approach is refreshing, although the more stripped-down songs stand up well against the more ambitious ones. Resisting the temptation to shoehorn a drum machine into every song simply because it works so well on the first is commendable, but succinctly illustrates the fact that every part of each song’s arrangement has a reason for being there. I was relieved to find My Kappa Roots for all the wrong reasons, hopefully you might like them for all the right ones.
*punched me repeatedly whilst threatening castration