Perfect Sin - Kevin K and the Real Kool Kats (Full Breach Kicks)
No sooner do I retrospectively lay my mitts on a copy of "Sealed Works" from a few years back than another - new - album comes gushing out of the pipeline, courtesy of the one-man music industry that is Kevin K. Like London buses, it seems there'll be another one along any minute. Of course the important distinction is that the ride with Kevin K is infinitely more interesting.
Lesser rockers would be fearful of diluting their, uh, market through unleashing (excuse the clumsy Dolls pun) "too much, too soon". Not so Kevin K, who not only doesn't appear to give a rat's arse, but manages to maintain the quality. Some people we could name would be happy to own outtakes that rock this well.
Referencing the Ramones, the Heartbreakers and his own Road Vultures, Kevin K drags willing fans on a trip through the underbelly of streetlife. There's the odd lyrical borrowing from the Heartbreakers as well as the Stooges ("What It Takes"), as well as odes to recreation ("I Want Some Drugs"), old friends ("Hey Is Dee Dee Home?") and ex-girlfriends ("Perfect Sin"). File under Melodic Punk.
The Real Kool Kats are still K's French backing band and they sound better with every studio outing. Seemingly now restored to a four-piece, twin-guitar line-up, they blast out these 13 rockin' tunes with the dexterity that only living in the same cramped tour van can bring.
It's an un-buffed, hip-shaking and timeless attack, lightened by the mid-disc acoustic "Hanging on the Eight Ball" and a sax-enhanced, R & B cruiser, "Life After You", that's so lean you can see its ribcage. Be warned: The closer (and this album's cover) is a reverb-clouded but volatile take on Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" that dances up a shitstorm.
It's becoming a tired theme, this contention that Kevin K is underground rock and roll's best kept secret, but it's a freak flag that we'll continue to fly until we punch our card for the last time, hang up the keyboard and turn to fertiliser. Like us, they might be a small deal in the multi-national scheme of things, but full marks to US label Full Breach Kicks for showing the same degree of faith and releasing this in Kevin's homeland. Now go and order a copy from them and see if I'm wrong.