London-based power-pop trio More Kicks have just released their second album – ‘Punch Drunk‘ on Dirtnap Records in North America and Stardumb Records in Europe.
Over 12 new tracks, the band sounds looser, snappier, and rocks a little harder than their 2019 self-titled debut.
Singer/guitarist James “Sulli” Sullivan says “I just listened to the full album the other day for the first time in months and it kind of surprised me how muscular it sounds. It sounds angry, desperate, discombobulated, in love with melody, in love with guitars and bass and drums, in love with playing music with friends despite – or perhaps because of – what was happening in the outside world. It sounds like resilience. It sounds punch drunk”.
‘Hurts Like Hell‘ begins with a beautiful Fleet Foxes harmony but instantly kicks into a driving pop number leading to another burner with ‘In Love‘ – probably my favorite track on the record. It reminds me of a relatively obscure but mighty Canadian band from the 90s called 13 Engines. There are shades of Jellyfish, Guided By Voices, and Redd Kross wrapped up in their sound with a touch of Beatlesque pop. ‘Animal‘ somehow combines successfully My Sharona with Pete Shelley for a great bop while ‘Terminal Love‘ and ‘Seven Ways‘ continue the momentum. ‘Got Lucky‘ is the first of three quieter numbers along with ‘Phoney Middle Aged Art‘ and album closer ‘Goodnight, Goodnight.’
In between there’s a quartet of power pop gems with ‘Come Home,’ ‘Colour Me Stupified‘, and ‘Rest of Our Lives‘ as well as ‘Good Enough‘ which is an out-and-out rocker.
Fans of anything Mitch Easter has been involved in will love this record.
Vocals, guitar, keys – James Sullivan
Bass, vocals – Paolo Mantovani
Drums – Kris Hood