Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground - Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
Record Label: Suburban Home Records
Release Date: February 19, 2008
Do you remember the days when psychedelic rock reigned supreme on the radio airwaves with Norman Greenbaum’s tune, “Spirit in the Sky,” and the carnival-tinged atmospherics of The Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was played 24/7? If you are like me, you probably were not even born yet, but you know this music by heart because its played daily on classic rock radio stations around the world. Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground have revived the fuzz rock and flower power child pop of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s on the band’s self-titled debut release. Made of two former members of Gatsby’s American Dream, lead vocalist/guitarist Kirk Huffman and keyboardist Kyle O’Quinn, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground’s music feels like it was greatly inspired by the soundtrack from the Las Vegas show, “Love” which is based on the music of The Beatles. With the addition of cellist/backup vocalist Phillip Peterson, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground’s debut release blends rock and orchestral tones like they were made to be paired.
The songs from Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground’s debut album have the dreamy seascapes of The Minor White, the gypsy punk sweeps of Nurses, the theatrical crests of The Dear Hunter, and the tuneful esoteric stylizing of Mika. Kay Kay’s album is made up of so many components, and yet, all of these fragments diametrically come together peacefully into a scenic Utopia. The gypsy-tinged symphonies of “Into the Realm of the Unknown” and “Simon Courage Flees the Coop” have exotic chimes lining the rhythmic beats and a theatrical-pop sprits which coats the melody with enchanting ringlets. Certain tracks are jack-knifed by chord shifts which change the consistency of the tunes, like “Bloodstone Goddess” which moves from calm elegantly lined strings to scrambling high flying horns, and “Swan Ink” which starts off sounding like an old-fashioned ragtime tune with saloon styled piano keys shrouded in soft rock trimmings and then turns into chill-out reggae gusts.
The saloon keys and ragtime patinas make a reprisal through the folk-pop springs of “Hey Momma” which create a carnival sideshow aura, and the flower power psychedelics of “Bird (on a day like today)” are ensconced in tuneful strings and musical nuances that are reminiscent of circus music. Some tracks are tinned with an ethereal pop gating like “One Ought To See” and “Cloud Country,” while the wailing strings and wistful movements of “Night of the Star Childs Funk” resonate with a Medieval, gothic-like glimmer. Other tracks have jazzy theatrics like “All Alone,” glistening synths like “Ol‘ Rum Davies,” and Arabian-embossed tones like “Santa Cruz Lined Pockets.” The samples of music used by the band may not be considered mainstream pop today, but they were at one time in history.
Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground is alternative pop with avant-garde cuts and old-fashioned lacings. The band’s self-titled debut album brings the theater to rock arenas and revamps ‘60s psychedelic pop to a modern pitch. No more simply relying on Greenberg’s “Spirit in the Sky” or John Lennon’s “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to satisfy this need for dreamy psychedelic seascapes, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground have made it brand new.