Reviewed by Simon Calvert
K, the popular festival and club band fronted by Keith Ayling, are now Kato and kick off with this 7-track mini album. If you're like me, there'll be a number of bands that you wish you didn't like. Bands that, musically, really get you going, but lyrically, turn you off. Oasis are like that for me: I love the sound but their philosophies and lifestyles stink. Well, Kato strike me in a similar way. From the second listen I started to get into the solid, raucous, grooved sound they make. Even the production is good considering it's a private recording, done, according to the sleeve notes, in 39 hours solid from start to finish. But lyrically, they don't seem to be pulling in the right direction. Now, I try not to be religious about my music; I don't think that an artist needs to say "Jesus" every other line to qualify as Christian. But these are songs about first sexual encounters, hopeless relationships and the meaninglessness of life. That in itself wouldn't disqualify it if there was a sense of progression; learning. But there isn't. This isn't questioning that is prepared to hear an answer; more like wallowing in hopelessness in the way that teenagers like to do 'coz it makes them feel grown up. In this way and in terms of their sound they are not totally unlike Oasis. I'm prepared to be corrected on my perception of where Kato are coming from but my view is, if you're looking for a band you want to use for your youth event, or looking to glean wisdom from the lyrics, don't bother with Kato. If you just listen to music for the sake of the music, get it; they sound good. The square rating reflects the importance I attach to the words/ethos of the band. If it depended on music alone it would be higher.
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