Kisschasy
Hymns for the Nonbeliever


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
April 21st, 2009 | 125 replies | 5,620 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A concerted effort to rock up their pop-punk sound pays dividends for Kisschasy, as their 2nd album contains little filler and impressive highlight tracks.

On Kisschasy’s 2005 debut full-length release ‘United Paper People’, they threatened to bring Australian pop-punk to mainstream audiences with the aptly titled lead single ‘Do-Do’s & Whoa-Oh’s’. Despite the album deservedly earning the young quartet a fervent fanbase, it didn’t exactly storm the charts, even if it showed the potential that the band could very well do so in the future. Come follow-up ‘Hymns for the Nonbeliever’, Kisschasy use a number of strategies in order to achieve greater success… And they may very well have pulled it off too.

The first method used is to change their musical style a little. The underlying pop-punk aesthetics still remain on the majority of tracks, but there is clearly a concerted effort to rock up their sound. This is especially the case when it comes to the significantly thicker and louder guitars heard on a number of cuts. The drumming of Karl Ammitzboll also hits harder, especially on insistent tracks ‘The Factory’ and ‘To Death’. However, more often than not, the band successfully balances this harder edge with their trademark catchy choruses and impressive hooks.

Of course, the key to achieving appeal amongst the masses is at least one big hit. While only the lead single snuck into the Australian Top 10, all received significant airplay. This was especially on music television since many of the music videos were to some extent humorous. Difficult to dislike 3rd single ‘Strings and Drums’ carries over that fun and carefree nature to the song itself, while the slower 4th single ‘Ugly Birds In a Beautiful Cage’ builds up impressively to be another album highlight.

While it may initially be the entertaining video (including the band causing havoc while wearing the masks of world leaders) and hooky package that is most noticeable about lead single ‘Opinions Wont Keep You Warm At Night’, one will eventually realize that the title of the song is not a throwaway comment. In fact, they are very defensive towards critics in general with lines such as “Jealousy tears you apart, I’m sorry that I can’t help the way you are, that we do the things you can’t”, before later proclaiming “We are everything you wish you were” and “I will never let the bitter things you say get to me”.

While those reactive lyrics may suggest the band have yet to mature, they are put together in a fashion which points to the opposite being closer to the truth. This is further proven on tidbit lines here and there throughout the LP, as well as the indie-scenester mocking 2nd single ‘Spray On Pants’. Laced with cynical humor such as “she speaks with a British accent and the keyboard is her favorite instrument” and “he is learning the tambourine, he tells his band that’s what they’re missing”, it is another likeable cut (as long as you are not one of those indie-scenesters of course).

Elsewhere on ‘Hymns For The Nonbeliever’, songs may not astound but there is a sufficient amount of variation that has been assisted by the subtle shift away from straight-out pop-punk. Opener ‘The Perfect Way To Meet’ acts as an effective bridge between the two albums, while penultimate track ‘My Bible In A Scrapbook’ goes so far as to combine hard-rock and grunge with its thick bass-line, distorted vocals and ominous sounding riff. Meanwhile, the 3 closest songs to ballads (‘Ugly Birds…’, ‘Real and Untouched’ & ‘Ghost’) may be slower, but they are still punchy meaning they are not as prone to being generic. The generally more aggressive vocal delivery (relative to the debut) means 23 year old Darren Cordeux’s often-criticized voice (read: accent) is more varied, and therefore its distinctive qualities become more of a strength than a weakness.

While the approaches may be different, the gap between both of Kisschasy’s full-length releases is not all that wide. In fact, a valid argument could be made for either ‘United Paper People’ or ‘Hymns For The Nonbeliever’ being slightly more effective than the other. Personally, I would have to give the nod to the latter since it exhibits growth, contains less filler than its predecessor, and has the stronger highlight tracks. There are still things to work on for Kisschasy, but if they can improve in these areas, do not be surprised if they soon become one of Australia’s most popular bands!

Recommended Tracks: Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm At Night, Strings and Drums, Ugly Birds In A Beautiful Cage & Spray On Pants.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Will Russell (5)
The album is a solid rock record which should be heard by all rock/alternative fans out there. A gre...

Joshua Blake (3)
Nothing like it's predecessor, which is both a blessing and a curse. Welcome to the radio, Kisschasy...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess I better find some album art.

Vooligan
April 21st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

coolies. Spray on Pants is an awesome song.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did you just say "coolies"?

It's funny with 'Spray On Pants'; Most people think that is their best song. I love the clever lyrics & it clearly deserved to be a single, but I think I prefer the other 3 that were released.

Vooligan
April 21st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i most certainly did.

Yeah its right up there, 'Opinions...' is probably the better song but i think it got overplayed a bit, so for me, 'Spray on Pants' overtook it.. I really like 'The Perfect Way to Meet' as well.

What was funny though, was that Triple j was playing 'Opinions a good month or so before commercial radio picked it up and ended up thrashing it.

Oh and, have you listened to much by Something With Numbers?This Message Edited On 04.21.09

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought you'd go with "Cool bananas". Hehe.

Oh no, don't you go on about songs being overplayed. The other review of this album does that also. I don't see what that has anything to do with the album itself. Just do what I do and don't listen to the radio full stop.

As for Triple J playing a song before mainstream radio gets it, that always happens. I was shocked to see the Australian charts last week to find out that Ladyhawke's 'My Delirium' has gone Top 20 in the country. I am pretty sure that was released months ago, but obviously Fox or Nova just got a hold of it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oooh, just saw your edit Billy. Something With Numbers is a band I think I should like and I definitely have liked their lead singles (Apple of my Eye, Stay With Me Bright Eyes, etc...), but for some reason I just haven't taken the time to give their albums a full listen. I'll get there one day. You recommend them?

AtavanHalen
April 21st 2009



17927 Comments


Something With Numbers are great, you'd love their Perfect Distraction record.

Jim
April 21st 2009



5110 Comments


coolies

Vooligan
April 21st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha it was just that one song, but i just listened to it then for the first time in months, i think its on par with spray on pants.

Yeah i guess so, but Opinions was the only one i really notived it happening to. I guess it happened to Birds of Tokyo to an extent as well.

See David's post. Stay With Me Bright Eyes is hands down the catchiest song ive ever heard.

AtavanHalen
April 21st 2009



17927 Comments


Stay With Me Bright Eyes isn't on Perfect Distraction.

Vooligan
April 21st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didnt say it was. It's on Engineering the Soul, awesome album btw.

upagainstthewall
April 21st 2009



838 Comments


Foolies

Jim
April 21st 2009



5110 Comments


schoolies

AtavanHalen
April 21st 2009



17927 Comments


Well, you said "See David's post" where I mentioned Perfect Distraction, so...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Billy, would you be happy or sad if radio started over-playing The Butterfly Effect or Karnivool? Seriously, it's a good thing. Like I said, just don't listen to radio. It's really not that difficult to avoid.

So DavID likes Something With Numbers, but not Augie March. You see, I would have picked the opposite. Either way, it sounds like I should get on my bike & give the Central Coasters a listen. Are they from near where you live DavID?

James and James, thanks for your stunning contributions here. It seems that when your football teams lose, you post one word at a time. Oh no, that can't be correct as Billy posetd more than 1 word! Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

Vooligan
April 21st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Davey, i would be stoked cos thier my favourite bands and its impossible for me to get sick of their songs : D Haha its kinda hard where i work not to listen to the radio : (

Oh and btw, uncalled for Davey, so not cool.

Jim
April 21st 2009



5110 Comments


hey davey

buttons >: (

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh righteo. I hate the radio being on at work too and usually tell them to shut it off or turn the volume down. But it's at least good to hear that you'd be happy for your fave bands if they were going to find some success. I was beginning to wonder if you wanted them all for yourself there for a moment.

And shouldn't your final sentence end "... so not coolies"?

AtavanHalen
April 21st 2009



17927 Comments


The central coast is five hours away from me, Champ Kind!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, I can't remember where you are DavID. Just somewhere in outback NSW from memory. That sounds Central Coast'ish. ;-)



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