One of the most noticeable things about The Party’s Over is the quality of the songwriting, far from the transient bandwagon jumping of many debut releases these days, the songs here hark back to a time of substance over style. To call King Post Kitsch‘s debut album a classic would be hyperbolic to say the least, but the craft of the songs do make it a very promising debut. KPK is the moniker of Glasgow based Charlie Day, who specialises in dazed psychedelic pop which flits between scuzzy rock grooves and stirring acoustic introspection. All of which has an understated grandeur which would not sound out of place in the cannon of The Kinks and indeed the likes of ‘Walking On Eggshells’ echoes a very distinct sense of ‘Britishness’ which you would associate with bands of that ilk.
King Post Kitsch is at his best though when he’s sedate, combining gently plucked acoustic guitar with swells of ambience and spoken word or softly slurred vocals to create an aural warmth which is difficult to resist getting wrapped up in. ‘Fante’s Last Stand’ epitomises this with the almost falsetto vocals and opening lyric of “treat me nice” exhibiting a vulnerability which is quite arresting, whilst later managing to ingrain some harsher instrumentation without changing track all together.
Some of the more upbeat garage-rock leaning tracks do work to create, ironically, more of a party atmosphere. The likes of ‘You Don’t Fucking Touch My Honeytone’ for instance has a simplicity to the music, a kind of no frills meat and potatoes rock covering which belies its thoughtfulness at points. They’re perfectly good for a few spins, but there’s not too much in the way of staying power and this is shown up on other tracks. ‘Bricks and Bones’ is particularly weak, its plodding guitar line feels totally devoid of inspiration and the lack of artifice which works elsewhere only highlights its weakness, as it does with ‘You Talk Too Much’. Thankfully quality is restored on the ‘The Werewolf Hop’, its lilting guitar and refrain of “I don’t need a reason if it makes me happy”, and that’s quite how the album makes me feel, at times it may lack substance but it never feels contrived or insincere and always evolves naturally.
Essentially King Post Kitsch has two sides to his personality, there’s the delicate graceful side exhibited on the likes of ‘The Werewolf of Hop’ and Fante’s Last Stand, and there’s a darker more grungy side on tracks like ‘Bricks and Bones’. More often than it is only the former which really works, but if he can find a balance of the two rather than jumping between them then we may have something which is both energetic and passionate in equal measure.