Review Summary: One for the hippies
Formed from the ashes of Gatsby’s American Dream, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground is the latest manifestation of vocalist/guitarist Kirk Huffman and keyboardist Kyle O'Quin. The official band includes cellist/backup singe Phil Peterson, and they have been known to perform with upwards of ten others accompanying them. On their eponymous debut they continue to perpetuate the quirks they are known for while making a dynamic and seemingly effortless record. But of course it wasn’t; in fact, they meticulously crafted their self-titled debut over a three year period in Seattle, just releasing it February 28th, 2008. And for an apparently fledgling group, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground certainly don’t look like one. For one thing, Kay Kay have had a pretty large and loyal following since before their first record was released. On top of that the debut includes over a dozen tracks and nears an hour in running time.
As far as sound goes, the presence of additional stage musicians gives an implication of diversity. And no surprise, much like Gatsby’s American Dream Kay Kay incorporate a range of genres, instruments ranging from a standard rhythm section with muted trumpet to strings and mallet percussion. Eccentricity abounds with moments of sheer fun and more serious dramatic moments. Alternative pop tinged with psychedelic influences would be an appropriate précis.
Kay Kay utilize all of the aforementioned intstruments to create lush and almost theatrical soundscapes, tapping into everything from psychedelic 60s rock groups to African styles like they do in “Santa Cruz Lined Pockets”. “Cloud Country” is simply beautiful with its echoic vocals tinny pop groove. “All Alone” really encapsulates the theatrical ability they flaunt, and succeeds as a dynamic closer. At other times they fall back on basic folk rock, like on the real opener “Hey Momma’”. They have an arsenal of styles all of which they wield formidably and group innocently together.
With their debut, Kay Kay have created a plenary album. It’s praiseworthy both for its sumptuous atmospheres and its more ludic moments which make Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
all the more interesting and enjoyable. For a band just debouched from the Seattle scene they feel much more mature then their discography admits.