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CD: Kula Shaker - K2 0 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kula Shaker - K2.0

CD: Kula Shaker - K2.0

The sitar heroes return, but is there more than just mystical rock?

Kula Shaker: sitars communing with guitars

Kula Shaker first tasted success in 1996, with the monster hit K. While the album was a commercial success,  their Eastern-hippy image meant some of the guys - especially singer Crispin Mills - found it hard to be taken seriously. In 1999, Mills put the band on hold while he tried his hand at other projects. Some years later Kula Shaker was reformed. They have been slowly chugging along, millimetres under the radar, ever since. 

K2.0 aims to be a a straight return to the old, 'classic', formula: sitars communing with guitars whilst karmic words float over the top. The formula may be essentially the same but the net effect feels more middle-aged. Back in the day, "Tattva" made you get up and dance. "Infinite Sun" and "Hari Bol", are more likely to have you reaching for the yoga mat. And if that was all there was to K2.0 it might be tempting to dismiss it as nostalgic folly. Fortunately there is more.

The best moments are where Mills casts himself as a traditional Seventies folk-rock merchant. The stand-out track, "33 Crows", for instance, recalls those lovely stripped-back numbers with which Rod Stewart cut his teeth. "Oh Mary" has echoes of John Lennon. Most atmospheric of all is "High Noon" which adds hints of Morricone for a widescreen, Spaghetti-Western effect.

Whether this amounts to the band's claim that Kula Shaker are "the last great heretics of British rock", is moot. But, these days, such hubris lends them a certain charm. As with Razorlight's Johnny Borrell, their don't-give-a-damn attitude throws up ridiculousness and enduring artistry in equal measure. 

 

 

@russcoffey

Overleaf: Kula Shaker's video for "Infinite Sun"

 

Their don't-give-a-damn attitude throws up ridiculous- ness and enduring artistry in equal measure

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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