Monday, October 8, 2007

Kenickie (or where the kenixfan moniker comes from)

Gosh, ten years on and this song still sounds just as fresh and exciting as it did in 1997!

Only the British can produce indie pop like this!



"In Your Car" cracked the Top 40 in England (not hard to do with twin CD single releases as well as vinyl) in late 1996/early 1997 and it remains one of my favorite songs ever.

The way Lauren sings the lyrics with the right mix of youth, vulnerability, sex appeal, and swagger still wins me over every time -- the type of song car stereos were invented for (or something)!

In America, indie rock willingly creates its own ghetto in a small corner of the music world: bands are content to be quirky (sometimes overtly and annoyingly so) and loved by only a handful of fans and their failure then becomes a badge, a sign of integrity.

In Britain, indie bands are not afraid to aim for the Top 40 while still retaining their integrity, wit, chops, and big tunes -- Oasis owes their entire career to combining indie label cred with mass appeal tunes and classic rock swagger.

Kenickie never sold out -- they tried, God bless 'em -- but they failed.

Lauren Laverne is a TV presenter and DJ over there and I'm glad she's successful.

I only wish her old band had some measure of that success as well.

All the things I enjoyed about the Ramones, 1970's punk rock, and The Primitives bumped up a notch with lyrics that still make me smile and two of the great voices of the 1990's: Lauren Laverne and Marie DuSantiago.

The Pipettes come close to this but they are slightly too ironic to match Kenickie's appeal for me -- though I do enjoy them immensely.

kenixfan = kenix is shorthand for Kenickie based on one of their early flipsides.

I know there is a Chinese actress/singer named Kenix Kwok but, alas, this kenixfan is lamenting the UK band, Kenickie.

For further reference, check out Lauren's guest vocals on this Mint Royale track.

"Don't Falter" could very well be Lauren's best vocal work to date -- so very British in ways I can't even articulate anymore.

You could take this track and some Kinks and Smiths songs and understand everything I love about England.