Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Smoking In Heaven (Sunday Best/Shock) CD REVIEW

I love the fact that the young folk are finding, and being influenced, by music with far deeper roots than what I was listening to at that age. Growing up in the ‘70s, it was obligatory to know something about the blues that Led Zeppelin was ripping off, but really, it didn’t make me want to go and listen to old blues records. Similarly, I enjoyed researching and listening to old rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll, but always preferred what came later – the experiments that occurred in the psychedelic era, which coincided with a revolution in recording technology.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have obviously been obsessively listening to lots of “authentic” music: heaps of old ska, ‘40s swing, ancient rockn’n’roll, boogie woogie and blues.
That’s really great. It really is. But it doesn’t stop Smoking In Heaven from being nothing more than a well-toasted turd. What is it about the Pitchfork-reading late-teens and twenty-somethings that excuses poor singing, and poor playing? The whole thing reeks of a slap-dash attitude that I’m sure the group think its listeners will wear, or even celebrate, under the excuse of spontaneity. But it doesn’t sound spontaneous, or inspired, or excited. It just sounds like they made a really hasty album, couldn’t be bothered rehearsing (or more likely, couldn’t play their instruments or sing very well anyway).
It’s the kind of album that makes you feel like you’ve wasted 40 minutes of your life, and that bad news gets even worse when you realise that Kitty, Daisy & Lewis probably only wasted about 40 minutes of their lives making it.
The biggest conceit, however, is the trio’s insistence on using analogue gear, as if it was a direct road to audio nirvana. Sadly, the sound quality is as poor as the music, as if proof was needed that analogue can (and often does) sound worse than digital. [I would posit the thought that it’s a lot easier to end up with a half-decent digital recording than a half-decent analogue one, in any case].
Smoking In Heaven is Kitty, Daisy & Lewis’ second album. Please, please, make it your last. GARY STEEL
Music = 2
Sound = 2

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