Influences comes from unlikely sources.
Take the title of Glasgow post-punk sextet Kaputt’s debut album ‘Carnage Hall’. On the surface it feels like the nickname of a venue/space the band plays in. A place where people can lost their rag to Kaputt’s wonky and infectious music. A place where pogoing and moshing happens to the sax solos as much as the when the band gets locked into that sweet groove, but in fact the title is in homage to Jude Garland and one of her most endearing albums ‘Judy at Carnegie Hall’, which also happens to be one of the bands favourite collective albums.
But this isn’t where it ends. The title track, and the album itself, is about an alternative dimension in which Judy Garland’s famous Carnegie Hall show was a total bust instead of one of the crowning moments of her career. The title also reflects our constantly shifting political situation, and that maybe we are all living in the ‘Carnage Hall’.
And this is the charm of the band. They don’t just deliver solid songs, ‘Carnage Hall’ is packed full of them, but they give you something to muse over while getting swept up in shronky horns, catchy riffs and glorious harmonies.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, though, far from it. One of the albums standout moments is ‘Accordion’. Here Kaputt really utilise their double drummer and percussionist and saxophone hero Chrissy Barnacle, but it’s when they collectively sing “Forward, Forward, I’m always moving forward...” you get the feeling they mean it.
Despite the uncertainties in the world at the moment, Kaputt aren’t letting that derail their progressive ethos. ‘Parsonage Square’ deals with paranoia, surveillance and panopticons, but musically it’s giddy and wouldn’t be out of place soundtrack a ride on the waltzers.
‘Carnage Hall’ is an album that bristles with clever ideas, memorable sing-a-longs, ‘Highlight’, ‘Drinking Problems Continue’ and ‘Accordion’, whilst reminding you of all the best bits from Devo, Trust Fund, The Rezillos and why you feel in love with those bands in the first place.
Ultimately this is an album about people and choices. Some choices were thrust upon you, whereas others were made rashly and it’s about dealing with them. As they say, don’t dwell on the past - move forward, forward, always moving forward.
Words: Nick Roseblade
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