Kaviar Special – #2 (Howlin Banana Records)

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Artist: Kaviar Special

Album: #2

Released: 8 April 2016

Label: Howlin Banana Records 

Everybody has a weakness, right? Mine seems to be puppies and certain garage rock bands. The thing about garage rock is that some turn their nose up at it, as if it is a dirty word. I can give you plenty of dirty words, and garage rock isn’t one. I guess like punk, it can mean different things to everyone – we’ve all got our own take on it. There are some bands that you hear and it is evident that they’ve securely nailed down the essence of a certain style but you know deep down they aren’t a band to keep putting out the same record, over and over.

Kaviar Special is a French band. Over the past few years, I’ve built up a solid collection of music from France. When I was in secondary school, I did a presentation on MC Solaar. My mind was blown when Missy Elliott had him on one of her songs, but that’s a different story. I even tried to learn his part and failed, but I did do my French GCSE a year early and got a C (a little pointless fact for you). In the case of Kaviar Special, they met whilst studying biology at college and the result is what we have now.

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What we have on their new record #2 is a true work of art. Call it a masterpiece if you want, I would fully back you. It is such a great record and with summer casting it’s blazing heat upon us, it makes the ideal soundtrack. Play it at work as you gaze at a computer screen whilst pretending to be elsewhere. Play it on your hellish commute to and from work, as people who have no concept of personal space thrust themselves and their sweaty pits upon you. Simply put, play it and zone out. It’s one of those records in which you can truly lose yourself. It is the kind of record that you need to be blasting in your ears until you think you’ve gone slightly deaf. It’s a record to which listening you can forget the monotony of everyday life.

The slick yet dreamy guitars send you off into the unknown and it doesn’t really matter where you are going. For me, “Highway” is the highlight of the record. Honestly, every single song on this record is a pillar of greatness, but “Highway” has tender moments that are taken over by thrashing guitars and aggressive drums. It is everything I adore about music captured in a few minutes. There are a handful of songs that do this for me, and I think I’ve found another in this one.

Records like this don’t always occur. It’s one of those records that once you hear it, you’re going to treasure it for a long time. It’s something you’ll keep going back to when you want to recall a feeling or a moment – all for the good with no dwelling on the shit. “I Wouldn’t Touch You With A Stick” is quite possibly one of the best titles I’ve heard for a song in a while, and the song is equally as great as the title. There are some catchy tracks on this record that will have you wanting more and more. That’s why the repeat button exists – purely for our listening pleasure.

There are so many great moments on this record that you’ll probably wish you had been in Kaviar Special’s biology class a few years ago so you could have joined the band. I hate using this word, and forgive me for doing so, but the record embodies fun. It embodies the fun a band should have when making a record. You can really sense from how put together the sound is that they love what they do. It is rowdy in all the right places. “Mad” will have you pogoing about almost instantly. It’s one of those records that will cause you to leave your house, find a dive bar and throw your body around to songs like “Mad.” It’s such a loud and carefree record, you cannot help but fall madly and deeply in love with it. As I’ve mentioned, it really does capture everything I love about music.

Briefly, I want to touch on the artwork. I’ve bought many records based on the artwork and fortunately they’ve always been decent. If I saw the artwork to #2 without knowing anything about the band, I’d have it in my hands almost instantly. The incredible ElzoDurt, an illustrator from Belgium who has worked with PyPy and Thee Oh Sees, did the artwork. The artwork is brilliantly weird and really out there. It fits the record perfectly.

Whatever you’re into, I’m pretty sure Kaviar Special are going to be one of your new favourite bands, if you’ve not heard of them before. You know what to do – play it loud, then a bit louder than that.

– By Olivia Cellamare