Review Summary: Kisschasy admirably evolve, but are yet to nail down their sound.
Well looky here, it’s yet another Australian band recording in America… And considering the jump Kisschasy made from eccentric pop-punk to hooky pop-rock on breakthrough LP ‘Hymns For The Non-Believer’, you would think it safe to presume that we should be expecting a polished arena-sized sound on ‘Seizures’. Yet, that is not necessarily the case and much of that can be put down to producer Rob Schnapf, who has worked on albums from alt/indie stalwarts such as Elliott Smith, Beck, and even garage rockers The Vines. However, most relevant in this case is Schnapf’s work on Saves The Day’s ‘Stay What You Are’ and ‘In Reverie’, both being quirky takes on pop-punk and power-pop themselves.
Credit for the new direction cannot be given to the producer alone however, as it is clear that the maturing quartet are set on continuously evolving. Much of this can be attributed to Darren Cordeux, an ambitious young singer-songwriter who takes on a dominant role when it comes to his band. Cordeux has always had a knack for writing clever attention-capturing lyrics and setting them in front of a sufficiently melodic background. However, while the same can be said of ‘Seizures’, it seems more sporadic than previously, a fact that is not helped by the disappointingly short running time of 31 minutes.
As per the band’s prior releases, ‘Seizures’ includes an obvious lead single that accentuates catchiness over anything else. In this case, it is ‘Generation Why’, a cut in which Cordeux sounds suspiciously like Billie Joe Armstrong during the verses. It is also a song which displays the hit-and-miss nature of his lyrics as he bemoans the negativity of armchair experts. With a chorus that includes “being negative is the best, I’m feeling so happy that I’m depressed…”, for every “yes I’ve got an issue with the current situation, going on in the country whose name I can’t pronounce”, there is a howler like “And the homophobes are secretly gay”
Where ‘Seizures’ does differ from its predecessors though, is the fact that the accessibility of ‘Generation Why’ is not repeated elsewhere. Other than the rapid-fire rock of ‘Tarantula’ and the more straight-forward title track, subsequent singles are likely to be darker and more subdued efforts. The deceptively catchy (& cannibalistic) ‘Weekend’, the cynical ex-manager diss ‘Turnaround’, and raw acoustic ballad ‘Dinosaur’ all fit the bill, but the best of the rest could be ‘Strawberry Jam’; a track which fits into the loose theme of “a year in the life of Darren Cordeux”, as the man in question sings “What’s the big deal? I’m just regular…”, before going on to declare “Count on one hand, all the friends I’ve got”.
Unfortunately, there is simply no space for filler considering the meager running time and it definitely does exist on those tracks not yet mentioned. Nothing is necessarily bad, it’s just that there is a little too much that is ho-hum and does not stand out from the pack. It all adds up to an album which is destined to be more of a grower than Kisschasy’s previous efforts, and one which could alienate existing fans to some extent. However, considering the band members are still in their mid-20s and are yet to nail down their sound, ‘Seizures’ is still a solid release which Kisschasy should be all the better for in the future.
Recommended Tracks: Generation Why, Strawberry Jam & Weekend.