One of the problems with contemporary punk is its distinct lack of regionalism. Whereas in its formative years location was nearly as pivotal to a band as it is to real estate, the internet effectively quashed the borders. Bands tend to make the same sounds and sing the same lyrics regardless of their environs. So it's refreshing to hear someone new and promising like Kudrow making stellar music with a hometown lyrical spin.
On their four-song debut 7-inch, Lando, Kudrow (including Bomb The Music Industry! and Latterman alumni) effortlessly deliver noisy pop gems. They sound like they eat at the same table as locals Meneguar, feasting on a smorgasbord of '90s indie-punk luminaries like Superchunk and Archers Of Loaf. Kudrow likely also consumed an unhealthy amount of Screaming Weasel and NOFX, given a penchant for pop-punk sing-along hooks. The gritty guitars and lo-fi recording add to the charm.
Through sound and lyric, the members of Kudrow fight to maintain a spirit of youth in the face of adulthood's unrelenting assault. They sing about working temp jobs and partying on Grand Street with girls in "retro dresses" because "no one wants to be alone on a Saturday night." The occasional hand claps and messy harmonies make this all the more fun to listen to. It's easy to envision their concerts in sweaty-wall basements with beardos and keffiyeh-wearing girls swaying arm-in-tattooed-arm to the band's glorious din.
Two particular moments demonstrate Kudrow's potential as consummate songwriters: the killer change in the middle of "Commutilation!" where they break for a Superchunk-like moment of zen with wonderfully sloppy, noisy guitars. Then on the gorgeous ballad "Brooklyn Pool," which closes the EP. It's a fitting detour that showcases the band's serious side. This is one of those rare instances when four songs are not enough.
Ernest Jenning http://www.ernestjenning.com/