Album I couldn't live without: Surrender
The album I can't live without
This is the second album in this (hopefully ongoing) series from the "quiet" indie Christchurch supergroup (compared to the hoopla that greeted The Adults...) of Rob Mayes, David Mulcahy and Michael Daly - better known as Kimo.
Initially starting life as Eskimo, releasing the wonderfully spiky album Loverbaitum back in 2004, they were then caught in a sudden Inuit flash flood when every other band was "Eskimo this" or "Eskimo that". The guys decided to shorten their name down to Kimo for their next release: Surrender.
While less punky than their debut this album released in 2008, Surrender showed the band maturing on this slow burning masterpiece. From the ticking clock intro to opener "Teenage Acne" through to the deep intake of breath that starts the album closer "Discover Me", this is an album that reflects the passion of those who made it: real musicians playing well crafted songs that deserve to be heard and remembered - not like some quickly forgotten vanity side project.
A few years ago I painted the outside of our house with the dog supervising, the iPod for company and this album on repeat. It was hot and sunny and this album made the perfect soundtrack. After listening to these songs for a day or so they were almost part of my DNA they had gotten so far under my skin. Songs like "Minus One" and "Marzipan" spoke to me on so many levels, whispering their tales of sadness and loss deep into my brain.
But it's not all gloomy, far from it; many of the songs here are shimmery little gems like say "Keeper" and "Aeroplane". Not to mention the wonderful hook-laden title track "Surrender" and "Judy Garland" with its nagging drum beat, great bass lines, choppy guitar and lyrical keyboard flourishes.
The album itself comes in a beautifully presented hand-crafted sleeve with a mini photo card per song with the lyrics. Such is the attention to detail here.
Years later I still play this album at least once a week and it sounds as fresh as when I first heard it on those hot summer days dodging the sun so the paint wouldn't dry too fast.
This has to be one of the best Kiwi albums ever committed to disc: Gentlemen I salute you!
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