Kaito Band Red

[Mute; 2004]

Styles:  noise-pop-art-dance-indie-rock
Others: Help She Can’t Swim, Art Brut, Sonic Youth

Kaito could be the best band in the world, but they probably aren't. Just sometimes though, when their live performance is in its most illogical throes of ecstasy, when the lights, heat, smoke and SOUNDS combine just right, they are. Just sometimes.

Which is why one of the best things about Band Red is that at the end of this record are six live recordings from The Garage, a dark, ugly, obstinate, and dirtily perfect rock club in north London if ever there was one. Recordings that capture the infectious noise-pop-art-dance-indie-rock of Kaito far better than any of their more polished studio counterparts. The other great thing about the live recordings at the end of Band Red is that I was there at the time, dancing like a lunatic right in front of the stage, drunk on overpriced cheap whiskey and suddenly perfect music. That night, Kaito were the best band in the world.

Kaito are a band that take their guitars and drag from them a collection of strangled, abstracted, forced, effects processed sounds without a hint of trying to be weird for the sake of weird. Kaito are trying to make pop music, music that you can dance, fall in love and surrender to, using the most wonderful, unique sounds that they can drag from the lumps of wood and steel in their hands, telling the most thrilling, compelling stories of self obsession and lust with everything their voices can muster.

The rhythm section plays games with itself, obvious and unnoticed yet weirder than any of them all at once, while guitars chime and squeal, and the voices of the twin vocalists chase each other through imaginary worlds. Yet somehow, on record, this doesn't always quite come through. Unlike their first EP, where the bare, intense focus captured them perfectly, large parts of the studio album are too elegant, too stable...  "should i" "try me out" and "anamoy" are still brilliant songs, blindfolded and thrashing about in an attempt to find their own language with which to render the whole world pointless, but see it live.

Kaito could be the best band in the world, but Band Red isn't the best album in the world. What it is, though, is a record that shows just how good this band can be when they get it right, even if that isn't all the time. And just sometimes, when they do get it right, KAITO ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD.

1. Enemyline
2. Should I
3. Try Me out
4. Nothin New
5. Anamoy
6. Think Twice
7. Driving Manual Auto
8. Moi
9. A.S.A. To Accuracy
10. ?
11. 3am
12. Go (live)
13. Should I (live)
14. Try me Out (live)
15. A.S.A to Accuracy (live)
16. Trailous (live)

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