The Kik - Springlevend - LP + CD -
Released on Excelsior Recordings, Holland's prime indie pop label, this is the debut album by former members of two wonderful Dutch bands, Arjan Spies of Mark & The Spies and Dave Von Raven, from The Madd, both of them singers and guitarists - plus Marcel Groenewegen on bass and Ries Doms on drums.
This new one-hundred-per-cent Nederbeat band is now called The Kik, and their album was to me one of the most eagerly anticipated records in 2012.
Hence the huge disappointment.
Indeed, 'Springlevend' falls far short of my (admittedly very high) expectations for a number of reasons.
For one thing, the band have switched from English to Dutch in their lyrics, which apart from having become totally incomprehensible in the process, are a bit like what the vocals would have sounded like if they had opted for such a 'lovely' (sic) language as, say, German...
For another, almost gone are the sprightly melodies found on Mark & The Spies' and The Madd's four exceptional albums (two each).
The most shocking thing, however, is the discrepancy between the music on this album and The Kik's earlier single this year which was highly promising and sung in English: 'My Eyes Are Still Dry'/'Here’s Hoping'.
Overall, though, the perceived drop in the quality level of most of the songs may be linked to the choice of language but even so there is no denying a certain formulaic sameness to their 1960s-inspired retro pop and therefore a definite lack of inspiration and originality.
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