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Monday, February 11, 2008

myspace music monday: Projekt A-Ko

We're back, once again, in Scotland this week. However, unlike last week's artist, this week's manages to rock your socks off while sounding both old and new, all at the same time! Ladies and germs (oh, how I miss the 3rd grade), I present to you, Projekt A-Ko.

Projekt A-Ko

Despite a name that would lead you to believe that you are about to listen to a late 80s hip hop group, Projekt A-Ko in fact has more in common with indie music from the early 90s. More often than not, the sound that the band creates is something that is surprisingly raw, yet somehow a lot of fun to listen to. I've made myself clear on numerous occasions that I'm not the biggest fan of this particular style of music (I really do hate Sonic Youth, after all), but most of what I've heard from this band so far is very good, and I strongly encourage you to give them a listen.

The first song "Supertriste Duxelle" is an unapologetic dog pile of distorted guitars and second-hand vocals. The whole early-90s indie rock aesthetic is in full force as each member of the band gives everything they have to make the music louder, nastier, better. It's very Pavement-ish. Yet despite my so-so feelings towards that band, I find myself strangely compelled to like every second of this song. It's a very cool, very raw rock track.

"Hey Palooka" boasts a similar sound, complete with infectious guitar riffs, missed notes, and enough distortion to make you question whether or not you're listening to the final version to the song or just some back alley cassette that's been recorded over one too many times. As is typically the case, it could possibly polarizing. But for those who are able to look past it all and dissect the song down to it's brilliant little parts, it's hard to be completely turned off.

"New Confusion" and "Ichiro on 3rd" follow the same path that their predecessors traveled, the latter, however, is a bit more gentle; with a relatively quiet verse and a sing-along chorus. In fact, it isn't until "Our Teenagers Need Healthy Touch" that the band's really mixes things up, or rather, slows things down. The result is really a mixed bag. While the instrumentation is a tamer, though no less impressive version of itself, the vocalist's lack of a refined voice weighs pretty heavily. When the band is playing louder, dirtier songs, it fits in perfectly. Here, it just sticks out like Kanye West at a hockey game ("sore thumb" just doesn't suit me). Fortunately, the band cranks things back up for their page's final tune, "Otaku Blues," a catchy and undeniably impressive song that features what is arguably the best vocal performance on the site (complete with gentle female vocals complementing all the surrounding madness).

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with what I've heard so far. The band definitely does an amazing job of recreating the sound of indie music in the early 90s, and bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement, or Sebadoh (all cited as influences, mind you) would be proud. The fact that I have found it to be rather enjoyable surprises the hell out of me, due to the fact that I really do loathe a lot of those same artists. For that reason alone, I can't help but recommend that you check out Projekt A-Ko and decide for yourself. The band also has a limited edition split 7" record with another band named Horowitz that releases today. It features 2 songs from each band (sadly, none of the ones mentioned here though). What're ya' gonna do?

Projekt A-Ko's myspace Page
"Nothing Works Twice" Fan Video
"Otaku Blue" Download
Horowitz' myspace Page
Buy Projekt A-Ko/Horowitz Split 7" Vinyl

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