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Kula Shaker - K2.0

  by Tom Fogarty

published: 25 / 3 / 2016

Kula Shaker - K2.0
Label: Strange F.O.L.K
Format: CD


Uplifting fifth album and first record in six years from 90's group, Kula Shaker

Kula Shaker never trouble the charts or make big waves these days, but back in the 1990s – at the height of Britpop – they were a very big proposition indeed. Best known for their multi-platinum selling album, 'K', which actually became one of the fastest selling debuts of all time by a UK band, they have produced three other previous studio albums, although to much quieter recognition since then. After the band’s second album, 'Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts', the band took a six-year hiatus, due in small measure to the reaction of the media after lead singer Crispian Mills gave an inflammatory and albeit very naïve interview to the music press. 'Infinite Sun' is the opening track on their fifth album 'K2.0' and we are immediately in familiar Kula Shaker territory here, complete with sitars; chanting, driving drumbeat and classic rock guitars. True to form, the song is catchy and instantly infectious – and this is what the band is really good at delivering. Second up is 'Holy Flame', which does not have the same psychedelic vibe but is happy and upbeat - and keeps the momentum flowing at a steady pace. 'Death of Democracy' could be the band’s only stab at a protest song to date, but don’t let that put you off because the next track, 'Let Love B (With You)', is one of the highlights and is somewhat raw by Crispian Mills’ standards. 'Here Come My Demons' is uncharacteristically dark and depressing, but manages to sound sentimental, rather than dreary – as much of their previous album 'Pilgrims Progress' did. In fact this could easily fit in amongst the tracks of 'Road to Rouen'- era Supergrass, another 90's Britpop force, who went on to produce some very high quality music long after the flame of Oasis had burnt itself out. The only real blip is 'Oh Mary' which is an earnest effort but comes across mawkish and even pretentious, rather than sincere. To counterbalance this, another stand out track is '33 Crows', which at first may sound like a clichéd Bob Dylan rip-off but belies a sardonic sense of dry wit. And this probably epitomises the problems that the band have had over the years; maybe the reason that a lot of people don’t get Kula Shaker is that at times it can be hard to tell if Kula Shaker are having a laugh or taking it all far too seriously. My advice would be not too think about it too much and just enjoy what they have to offer. What can’t be denied is that they have an ear for writing some incredibly catchy and uplifting music. And whilst this album may not change the world or reach the heights that their debut achieved nearly twenty years ago, you will tap your feet and enjoy listening to it - so what other reason do you need to listen to an album?

Track Listing:-
1 Infinite Sun
2 Holy Flame
3 Death of Democracy
4 Love B with U
5 Here come my Demons
6 33 Crows
7 Oh Mary
8 High Noon
9 Hari Bol (the sweetest sweet)
10 Get Right Get Ready
11 Mountain Lifter

Band Links:-

Have a Listen:-

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