Album Review: Kitten Pyramid – Koozy (Flip Flop Reocrds)
10cc bandmates Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley recently appeared on the Consequences podcast to listen to one of the very few numbers the Manchester band had not yet released to the world. As if cornering a market set by “I’m Not In Love”, 10cc sent Revlon a jingle awash in soaring falsettos and wilful, Wagnerian keyboards, before the closing the track out on a louche, laconic voiceover that reminded listeners of the product they were expected to buy. Both men chuckled, regaling co-hosts Sean MacCreavy & Paul McNulty with potential theories as to how this vignette came to fruition. It opened the question as to what else 10cc might have recorded if the four musicians had stayed together in 1977, culminating in a question even more tantalising and imaginative than what they had once released.
And then there’s Kitten Pyramid, another Northern English band, taking on the mantle that messrs. Gouldman and Godley left behind in the mid seventies. With only their sophomore effort, Kitten Pyramid have continued the esoteric language once started by their seventies forefathers, and Koozy!!– adrenaline fused hammond riffs and all- posits itself as the missing link between the art pop of 1975 opus The Original Soundtrack and the stadium heavy antics that makes up Genesis’ excellent 1980 album, Duke. And although it was largely recorded in Rockfield Studios, Wales, the album’s tight, crisp production design owes more to the progressive pop records of the seventies than it does to anything indie pioneers Oasis and Coldplay might have released.
From the drum heavy title track, to the punchier ‘Aunty Mabel’, the album rushes with singular, self made confidence. “Bounty” literally soars with orchestration, assimilating influences as far reaching as 19th century Baroque, and 20th century Bucolicism.
Then there’s “7 Day Duvet”, a cabalistic, kaleidoscopic number perhaps written as a response to The Lockdown, while “Needles”, a piano portrait positioned near the end of the album, is both strangely sombre and achingly beautiful (Vocalist Scott Milligan lost his mother to Covid during the writing of the album). Somewhere in their wheelhouse, Kitten Pyramid finds the time to tip their hat at Pink Floyd, as “Give Me The Keys” opens with a vocal style pleasantly reminiscent of the howls of anguish Roger Waters has unveiled throughout his fifty year-career, while “Troll” chases something that’s arguably even more contemporary in tempo, timbre and tone. The album closes with its most visceral, thrilling entry, “Swan Song”, ending the work on a haunting blast of trembling horns that ultimately brings the work from sincere to the cinematic. And with the close of an instrumental coda, the album ends with a colossal silence, deafening in the wake of huge, spacious vocal interpolations.
The album really is awash with brilliance, reigniting importance in a producer’s role on an album. Fittingly, producer Nick Brine has joined the fold as bass player, continuing the importance from studio to stage as the band journeys on into the future. And as long as they continue with the things they do for love, the future is sure to be bright!
Koozy is released via Flip Flop Records on Friday April 2.