The Kickliner - Amsterdam
Harry Milburn 01/06/2010
Agh, Amsterdam. A city that sells drugs in its cafes and sex in its windows. There's a lot to be said for it. Quite how, though, such a vibrant city shares its name with a mind-numbingly dull piece of northern miserablism like this is rather baffling.
As any Smiths or Joy Division listener knows, 'northern' plus 'miserable' needn't equate to boredom; but in the case of this debut offering from The Kickliner it certainly does. A fine line there must be between being depressing and being downright dull; but it might aswell be a bloody great thick marker-pen drawn one- because this is about as uninspiring as music gets. A gruesome Frankensteinian splicing of early Bright Eyes, pseudo-Spectorish production and Johnny Marr guitar licks played at slug's speed- if <>i'Amsterdam' was any slower-paced it would probably play itself backwards, and the Derby duo's decision to string this out for almost 4 and half minutes is bizarre. What it patently misses is an anything resembling a change of key, change of tempo, or injection of energy, because trawling through all that feeble-voiced 'humdrum town' imagery sure does get tedious fast. Something approaching a sweetener would have gone some way to making a difference.
This is, however, The Kickliner's debut release; and given that there's at least a sense of melody here, and that an EP is due later this year, it seems too soon to dismiss them. Here's hoping, then, that in any of their upcoming releases, insomnia cures like this one like this one are few and far between.
Release date: 31/05/2010