German Shepherd Records
25th March 2016
With this new three-track EP Manchester band Kit B follow their well regarded “Be Your Own God” release from 2015 with a bit of a stunner. This is their first outing with German Shepherd Records and is a digital only release.
Explaining the decision to join German Shepherd bassist John “Monty” Montague said “I’d say probably the same reason why I went with rhe label for my solo work with The Junta …the community of like-minded musicians, it’s a great and varied collective, and it’s always great to bump into the GS roster at live gigs!”.
This new collection from Kit B demonstrates the usual mix of bright airy indie Manchester pop/rock with clever lyrics, a dark sub-text, and, as usual, great production techniques. You can tell they are from Manchester but they don’t sound like the usual raft of Manchester bands, they have a unique quality and approach, which is in the great tradition of the city.
Opener “Weird Water” demonstrates a desire to explore new structures starting with a jazzy drum beat, underlying a picked guitar with sprinklings of keyboard adding a bluesy counterpoint before the song moves into an tempo indie rocker with trademark bass from Monty, great keyboards from Mike Powell, and some interesting little production tricks.
Second up “It Always Rains” is pure Manchester pop, complete with melodica, jangling guitars and rich keyboards. Cusick juxtaposes strong and bright melodies with morose lyrics to create a perfect tension. Very atmospheric and the perfect soundtrack for the “Rainy City”.
Finally “Fabrik”, which feels like a coda to the preceding track, develops into a beautiful ballad, brittle, fragile and understated; which then changes up to a powerful driven piece of music. The maturity in the writing and the development of the band is brought into sharp focus.
Explaining the three tracks lead vocalist/guitarist Danny Cusick explains:
Weird Water – was a mantra chanted by a drunken friend of mine after copious amounts of Joseph Holts’ beer and the resulting aftermath of such outrageous behaviour.
It Always Rains – is my anti Coronation Street rant, when the wail of the signature tune strikes up I slump into a “northern slate grey sky depression” and hope I live to see the street catch fire and disappear from our television screens forever.
Fabrik – which is the German translation of Factory, is really my attempt at a sea shanty, I’ve been recently reading the history of English pirates and Fabrik is the result.
Cusick also says of the EP “When I write songs I don’t like a straight forward narrative and just try and give a flavour of the subject I’m trying to convey.”
With a couple of gigs planned for the Spring and Summer the band are well worth checking out – you can see them at the German Shepherd showcase at Dulcimer, Chorlton on May 15th and a Friday Night Slot at this years Kendal Calling Festival.
The band is
Danny Cusick – Guitar and Vocals,
Mike Powell – Keyboards,
John Montague – Bass, Melodica
Pete Slater – Drums
Danny – I don’t tend to listen to a large amount of music, I listen in short bursts. I think if you binge listen in the end you miss the nuances and subtle ideas that may be hidden in the songs. The last tracks I listened to were,’Gentleman’ by Fela Kuti, ‘Williams Blood ‘ by Grace Jones and ‘Let it Rain ‘ by Tom Waits.
Mike – Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man, Walker Brother – Nite Flights, and for up to date stuff I am loving new Primal Scream single and the new Taser Puppets EP on German Shepherd.
John – Currently going through my Bowie phase and collecting his studio albums, new stuff I would say Cavern of Anti-Matter and Polica, both good albums.
Peter – Currently listening to Roots Manuva . Cavern of Anti Matter and revisiting Tago Mago by Can