Saturday, 7 February 2009

1900's - Kicks [2009]

Kicks features more sassy, infectiously catchy songs about Glasgow and girls in the main, but also references Mongolian warlords, bears, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Baader-Meinhof and Scientology. Most of the songs on Kicks are anecdotes about ex, current, future and fictional girlfriends.The album was recorded at Edwyn Collins’ West Heath Yard studio in London and it was produced by Bernard Butler. Kicks is the sound of a group careering head first, inspired by where they come from and what they can potentially do, into further adventures in sound and visions. Inspiration was taken from everything from Scary Monsters/Golden Years-era Bowie and his work with Brian Eno & Tony Visconti to Jay-Z through to Hall & Oates, the chops of Hot Chocolate and even the folk licks of Richard Thompson. Sonically Kicks is a rock record, but 1990s' intention was to make it sound slightly alien, too. The album’s a non-stop assault of pop gems. “59” eulogises the 59 bus in Pollokshields, which comes approximately once per lifetime and goes from Narnia to Brigadoon via Pollokshields. As Michael, who sings it, explains "It’s the only bus you want to get on in Pollokshields, even if it’s going in the wrong direction. The song’s about me taking this bus and checking out the girls… with gammy eyes."1990s' vocal harmonies on this album have come into their own and lead vocal duties are shared amongst the group much more so than on Cookies. Michael sings four songs, Dino sings two and Jackie sings the rest. “Kickstrasse” features Jackie addressing German 1970s terrorist group Baader-Meinhof, with help from Kate Jackson (of The Long Blondes) on backing vocals. On “Everybody Please Relax” Jackie threatens to move to Hollywood and become a Scientologist. Michael and Dino hope that he doesn't.

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