Music News

The Kooks

Were Andy Warhol still aboveground, he could tweak his prescient bon mot about fame for the British music scene — something like "Every rock group in England will be called a brilliant, once-in-a-generation standard-setter at least once by New Musical Express." Unfortunately for the Kooks, a Luke Pritchard-fronted combo that emerged from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, they received this honor in the wake of so many heavily hyped declarations (aimed at the Arctic Monkeys et al.) that stateside reviewers were predisposed to be underwhelmed. This reaction isn't wholly baseless: The band's most prominent recording, 2006's Inside In/Inside Out, leaves the ground around it unbroken. But if tunes such as the hyper-catchy "See the World" and the surprisingly sweet-tempered "Jackie Big Tits" are reminiscent of offerings by other, more memorable bands, they're also above-average ditties — which would be more than good enough if the Kooks hadn't been branded the Next Big Thing.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts