Kestrels - Primary Colours
Ahh, Primary Colours. The three main components from which all other colours are made. It seems an appropriate choice of name for Kestrels’ debut album. The band are essentially a classic power trio: 1 bass, 1 guitar, 1 drumkit, no nonsense. From this basis all things are made. Lead singer/guitarist Chad Peck succeeded in rather neatly summing up the band in an interview earlier this year with East Coast Overture, stating that they are ‘“up-tempo barre chord rock n roll”.
While Peck’s description is accurate, it perhaps doesn’t give Primary Colours the credit it deserves. Kestrels wear their hearts on their sleeves on the album, and those sleeves are undoubtedly made of flannel. The band harness the scuzzy, lo-fi aesthetic to a tee, all distortion pedals, drawn out syllables, bouncing bass lines and repeated lyrics. Throughout the record drums rampage and crash, guitars fuzz and chug in all the right places. ‘Riddicule’ is a headlong bratty charge with classic college rock harmonies and bouncy basslines that comes on like Turbonegro without the smut or theatrics, the wah-wah solo exploding out of the speakers with youthful over-exuberance. Elsewhere the half-time dynamics of ‘Houdini’ call to mind the overlooked classic of the MTV era, Nada Surf’s ‘High/Low’, while the closing ‘Light and Sound’ is the type of earnest, yearning acoustic ballad that imppresionable college kids put on the end of mix tapes in the hope of getting the girl.
Primary Colours is an incredibly warm sounding record, and behind it’s catchy guitar hooks lies a good deal of positivity. It’s the kind of record that makes you want to go and scrawl the bands name on the back of your backpack in large black marker pen. It might be a little backward looking, and it may not be the most original album you may hear this year, but as the band sing on ‘Everyone, Everyone’: “It makes me glad”.
250 on black.