Album Review - 'Arcadia' by Ka Tet
Ka Tet Definition:
1) A group of beings brought together by Ka.
2) An Irish alternative rock trio based in Galway City, Ireland.
In the jungle that is the music industry which is flourishing in Ireland today, there are some who have gotten lost in the ever changing scope of new musical technology, relying on synthesizers and repetitive beats to form a catalogue of work. Because of the now 'techno beat' generation who call out for fresh new sounds, it can verge on the ridiculous when you step into a small club and see two people on stage with computers generating sounds from cult video games, not an instrument between them. Thankfully for all pure rock fans there are still artists and bands who believe in generating pure music, regardless of their genre, and Ka Tet are the fore runners leading Irish rock into that pure sounding revolution. Their Debut Album 'Arcadia' is an excellent showcase in rock music at it's finest.
Ka tet consist of Tommy Concannon on guitar and vocals, Kyle Dee on Bass and backing vocals and Ronan Connaughton on drums and backing vocals. They formed in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo in 2006 and have toured, recorded and gigged consistently since, gaining a reputation as one of the hardest working unsigned bands in Ireland until their fruits of labour payed off, recently signing with 'Ruby Music' records, an independent record label based in Cork City. Since then they have grown in reputation, supporting acts such as 'And So I Watch You From Afar' and 'God Is an Astronaut', receiving wild critical acclaim for their live shows.
What makes 'Arcadia' refreshing is the bands ability to blend sounds from all kinds influences and genres of rock with their own unique power and hard hitting lyrics without overstepping the mark. When you listen to them, they bring you on a journey of political issues and conflicting emotions, with melodies and harmonies that are ridiculously catchy and eerliy haunting. Tommy Concannon's voice has a baratone grace and vibe similar to great vocalists such as Eddie Veddar and Ian Curtis, and is similar in emanating pure emotions, taking you on this kind of soul bearing journey that Veddar and Curtis were able to achieve effortless. Mix this in with funky bass lines and compelling drumming and what you get is a musical formula unlike any other rock band in Ireland today.
'Bob n' Charlie' is the purest example of this explanation, a song that consists of the typical rock structure of verses, a bridge and chorus, only to jump out of your stereo thanks to it's creative force of being able to harmonize in a variety of different ways to suit the emotion in that moment, or to lose control when needs be, much like a drug addict does.
'Free Love' is a grunge-esque track that explodes with life as it's structure slowly builds, beginning with grooving acoustic guitar chords before embarking into a climatic finish. It is colourful and dynamic in it's purpose with a creative vibe and energy that was ever flowing in rock music in the 1970's, you could go as far as saying that 'Free Love' would be fitting in the film 'Almost Famous', it is the kind of song Penny Lane would dance around to.
'Awake' is just pure balls out rock, and highlights the bands versatility to step it up a gear in intensity when needs be. Any listener unaware of what they are hearing would be forgiven in thinking that it's a Pearl Jam song, a great Pearl Jam song. Some criticism could be aimed at the bands individuality because of this, but this album is full of examples and nods to their heroes. It is an album for all rock fans, any hardcore Queens Of The Stone Age and Pearl Jam fan will love this album...any die hard rock fan will love 'Arcadia'. Ka Tet are unforgiving in their creativity and force and talent, their saving grave and greatness is the ability to be refreshing and powerful whilst gaining inspiration from their idols and 'Awake' has the power to draw the listener in and keep them glued to the rest of the catalogue.
'Let My Lady', The bands first single off the album, is layered with funk and a bass line that becomes a second guitar melody as the emotion builds into the final chorus cry. Again the story is imaginative, just like in all of their tracks, the songwriting is full of cases of emotion, addiction, freedom, rebellion and soul searching, with elements of Americana peppered throughout. The video for 'Let My Lady' is fantastic, think of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' mixed with 'Swan Lake'
'Arcadia' is an encapsulating piece of work, and while there are moments of rawness, it can't elude from the fact that this trio of musicians are an entity brought together by Ka, an entity that will be around for many a year to come. 'Arcadia' shines with what bestows them in the future, and while the songs mentioned above have moments of sheer brilliance, that's not taking away from the rest of the solid catalogue that includes the indie bubblegum rock track 'Coffee', and the eerily soul searching 'Stall On the Milky-way' to name but a few. This is the definitive rock album for any fans collection and undoubtedly brilliant.
Hit the link below to listen to Arcadia in full online and download it for a reasonable fee, it will be the best money you'll spend on any rock album this year...even if it's just to hear the line...'I just wanna be free, oh ya ohaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
Arcadia By Ka tet on bandcamp.com
- ARCADIA | Ka tet
ARCADIA by Ka tet, released 19 August 2013 1. Intro 2. Let my Lady 3. Awake 4. Free Love 5. Coffee 6. Bob N' Charlie 7. Stall on the Milky Way 8. Baby on the Brink 9. Shere Khan 10. The Waiting 11. Cocaine Sandwich 12. Worlds Edge Ka tet would like t