Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

I94 Bar: The Kits "Primitive Tales"

Whoever says there's no good new rock and roll released these days needs to extract their head from where it doesn't fit and cock an ear to this. 

There's something eternal about the combination of a couple of guitars, bass and drums working together and The Kits know it only too well. There's a sure melodic footing to most of the tunes as well as a good amount of grit and an inherent confidence to the playing. Put together, it all hits right home.

Melbourne-bred but trying their luck in the UK for the past two years, The Kits have been making such a righteous noise in London that the discerning folks from Dirty Water (probably the Old Blighty's best rock and garage club) signed them to their label.

Sounds like there's been some member churn with guitarist Marc Bonet and Clervly joining Kit and brither Jay on drums. These things happen. What doesn't kill a band makes it stronger etc., etc.

The Kits are a new experience to these ears and being an ignorant Sydneysider I have no idea whether they made much of impression in Melbourne before flying the coop. What I do know is that "Don't Want To Lose This Fight" skids along on sing-song riffing and nervous energy and the title track is punchy as hell. "Get Closer" gets so far under the skin it feels like it's been implanted. 

Early spins had me going back to the first half of the CD (what would normally be the A side on vinyl) but I'm increasingly drawn to later numbers like "Automatic" and "Here She Comes". There's a touch of the latter-day, tough guy Sunnyboys. They also have the good sense to cover a Spencer P Jones song ("I Want To Hold Your Hand And Go To Hell".)

Kit Atkinson pitches his vocals at the groin and head with equal measures of snot and good-natured sneer with tales of love, hate, mental instability, girls and prescription treatment. The rest of the crew takes clear aim at the feet, intending to make people move their shoes rather than gaze at them. Michael Cleverly's bass-lines in particular impart a sense of textured melody. 

Recorded in London and Melbourne at studios like Toe Rag and Hothouse, "Primitive Tales" sounds fullsome and warm. Analogue recording gear is probably just the tonic for unforgiving London winters.

An album to wash away the recession and a lousy Aussie-dollar-to-British-pound exchange rate, Aussies will be happy to know they can pick it up easier than a sexually transmitted disease in the London Walkabout Club by dropping Off the Hip a line. Poms can go here, Yanks look up Get Hip.

The Barman

Dirty Water Records London