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KatJonBand - KatJonBand Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.5
Musicianship 6
Lyrics 7
Production 6.75
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 6
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 63%
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KatJonBand - KatJonBand

Reviewed by: Susan Frances (10/09/08)
KatJonBand - KatJonBand
Record Label: Carrot Top Records
Release Date: September 23, 2008

Guitarist Jon Langfold of The Mekons and drummer Kat Ex have merged to form the folk-punk band KatJonBand. With both of them taking turns on lead vocals and singing harmony, their self-titled release from Carrot Top Records has a vanguard approach to reviving old school punk tenets relatable to the bluntness of ‘70s bands like The Band, The Pretenders, and Lou Reed. The duo have attractive Morrissey-pronged treatments put on punk rock anthems with Kat’s vocals displaying a morose tint in her register and producing a cavernous echo in her singing and Jon’s brute Welsh timbres pervade raw, rambunctious shuffles. The KatJonBand do not necessarily make anything new, but they put their own stamp on classic punk’s bedrock.

The choppy guitar riffs and rhythmic beats of “Do You?” have rough edges liken to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as Kat and John switch off between each other on lead vocals. The Celtic tint of Jon’s vocals in “Albion” gives the song a beer-drinking, sing-along, chanty feel as the guitar chords lance with brooding peals. The gypsy-fringed rhythmic rolls of “Limbo” bring out Kat’s grassroots vocal textures and the craggy guitar cuts of “Machine Gun & The Ugly Doll” draw out the duo’s penchant for producing rugged terrain. Jon and Kat pull out a folksy tempered punk in “Conquered” and “Bad Apples” that resonates with a ‘70s esthetics, especially Kat’s vocal textures in “Bad Apples” which could mirror Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick. The dance beats of “Crackheads Beware” have a jovial punk sprint motored by light wagging guitar chords which turn to a heavier tone in the grungy-coated hale poured over “Moonscape.” Morrissey-fleshed folksy flicks crop up along “Hey You Don’t Love Me” before the album closes out with the heady rhythms and seething guitar pucks of “Red Flag.”

You have to like this type of rough textured music in order to like KatJonBand’s self-titled album. Their music is sharply defined and addresses specific elements of punk. Kat and Jon’s repertoire have run a gamut of styles from art-rock to metal-punk and grassroots-folk. Both Kat and Jon have been playing in bands since the ‘80s enabling their album to show signs of history and modern influences that keep these two going forward.

Recommended if you like: Matt & Kim, Morrissey, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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