Kaito came a decade too late to make any sort of an impact. Aesthetically, they are Elastica. They’ve got the requisite two female guitarists/singers along with a guy or two in the back, holding up the rhythm. Did I mention that they dress in all black? Or that they play quirky, guitar-centered new wave, without very many keyboards? It’s one thing to wear one’s influences on one’s sleeve; this is almost identity-appropriation.
The album’s only true high points are its most quiet, melodic ones. “Nothin New” is a ramshackle lament, pasting organ and roughshod drums together behind an actual attempt at melodic singing. “3am” closes out the album with nicely droning Eastern-flavored guitars, for the first three and a half of its six minutes before degenerating into extraneous tedium. Still, these songs are a welcome respite from the monotone distorto-sneer that main vocalist Niki Colk uses on nearly every other track. A quick perusal of the lyric sheet shows that there isn’t much lost to Cox’s riot growl. I get the impression more time was spent on the album artwork than on writing all the repetitive lyrics found within.
In the end, I still can’t say that this album is completely bad even though I’m not particularly fond of it. The rawness of the production, the instrumentation and attitude are all there, but as a whole it falls flat. This album has its time and place; unfortunately, these are, respectively, not during this decade and not in my record collection.