ALBUM REVIEW: “Demo EP” by Kites
Early 80s synth-pop is a genre many cling to while others rush to forget. Falling toward the former, London-based Kites’ demo EP is chocked full of so much dry 80s techno goodness, that I’m ready to don my piano key neck-tie and hit the dance floor. Front man Matthew Phillips could be the offspring of Robert Smith and Boy George (if that’s even possible) with the whiny and anguished vocals that became a staple of 80s pop music. Driving beats provide the foundation for the entire 8-track set, and if not for the sprinkling of distorted electric guitar, the heavy synthesizer use would make for a straight 80s throw-back.
Other than that, it’s hard to identify a formula while the sound remains the same. “Take the Reins” covers the tormented, depressed youth vibe, while “The Florist” will have you doing lines off the club bathroom counter in no time. In all, the unsigned Kites capitalize on the recent proliferation of 80s retro pop, and are definitely worth a listen if synth tickles your ear buds.