On latest EP Sad, Kamikaze Girls reckon they’ve finally got to 'a place where something clicked'. Combining their main influences of pop sensibilities and feminist grunge, its overarching theme is mental health, something singer/guitarist Lucinda Livingstone in particular has discussed a lot of late. On the whole, this thing the duo have hit upon is something really very good.
Their riffs, based mainly around power chords, have a somehow clean-sounding fuzz to them, and their sparing use of solo-y stuff makes every such riff they do use feel totally valuable and genuinely gorgeous - see the intro of ‘Ladyfuzz’ following the dirgey, grungey plod of ‘I Hate Funerals’ (the latter of which is made up of chords both so creative and so satisfying you’ll want to hug them).
Only at the beginning of single ‘Stitches’ do their influences feel as if they’re pulling the music apart rather than working together, taking a few seconds for the song to decide what it’s going to be. And even then, it soon settles into itself, and the chorus is so perfect for the sad indie dancing that seems to be their total thing that you’ve forgotten all about the beginning of the song.
With their oft but varyingly used major sevens, a pensiveness pervades the album that’s perfect for just that kind of sad indie dancing too. Its plaintive quality is captured perfectly by Livingstone’s voice and melodies works perfectly for all of the album except ‘Black Coffee’. The idea feels like it was a good one, and it’s possibly their most direct discussion of depression here (the symbolism making it easier to broach as a subject), but unfortunately the tone of Sad is just too earnest for this type of punk humour that addresses mundane objects in second person as an ironic metonym. That said, the self-conscious melodrama of ‘I Hate Funerals’ feels like it works, and overall their tone totally suits their emotional yet considered sound.
7Nina Keen's Score