New Music

Photo by Peter Ellenby KAITO

Sometimes you love something so much you can't let it go. Maybe it's an old sweater, a moldy stack of newspapers or a spouse; for British pop band KaitO, it's one special set of chords—again and again and again. Obsession like this usually ends in a restraining order ("If we can't have these riffs, no one can!"), but KaitO channels it into glorious and rambunctious pop. Reminiscent of other female-driven Brit juggernauts like Elastica, Huggy Bear and LadyTron, KaitO blend simple-but-effective lyrics ("Shoot, shoot, shoot! Why don't you kill me?" from—naturally—"Shoot Shoot") with supertight drum beats; a great, big, fuzzy wall of guitar; and the occasional high-pitched beeping noise. It's potentially close to becoming poke-in-the-shoulder irritating, but KaitO somehow manage to turn it into a welcome, spirited alternative to the angst-driven melodic drone that too often passes for British pop music. Hell, they even make a Speak & Spell sample seem clever. So call Underground a worldly older brother to their last major release (You've Seen Us, You Must Have Seen Us, also on Devil in the Woods), even if you're constantly going to be checking the stereo to make sure it's not set on "repeat." (Kelly Hardy)

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