All good Kinks fans need not be told this band’s name is a play on the British group’s Kwyet Kinks EP, which was released in the fall of 1965. The Kwyet Kings were obviously dedicated followers of Kinks fashion, and such an influence is not only evident in their handle, but their cool music as well.
Based out of Norway, the band came together in the early 1990s and went onto spawn a rope of singles, three full-length albums and a compilation of 45s during their livelihood, which lasted until the end of the decade.
As far as I’m concerned, there are no duds clogging the Kwyet Kings catalog, but their second album, Cherrypie, is the one that especially turns my crank.
Surging forth with nimble and quick performances, accented by a fetching fusion of belly-rumbling power pop rhythms and sugar-fueled garage rock energy, every song on the disc chimes, crunches and crackles with vim and vigor.
Tracks like “Twisting My Nerves,” “Walk You Home,” “Don’t Wanna Be In Love” and the title cut of the album cycle right in on the band’s grand gift for parenting airtight material. Fit as a marathon runner, there is not an ounce of fat or flab to be had here.
The tunes, which share tales of love and lack of love, are short, compact and dangerously infectious. Choppy guitar riffs sit knee to knee with strident drum fills, while the vocals and harmonies are spunky and excitable.
Along with the noted Kinks reference, Cherrypie (Screaming Apple Records) also pays ample tribute to the Ramones, the Romantics and the Records. Though the sound and structure of the songs on the disc tend to be highly similar, the band’s passion and determination is so contagious that you’re sure to develop a serious addiction to these hummable nuggets. Containing more hooks than a fly fisherman’s tackle box, the sparkly songs combine pop instincts with a punk attitude in a wildly appealing manner.
The Kwyet Kings were a great band, and Cherrypie documents them at the top of their game.