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Not Enough Night by Kubichek!

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Reviewed on 6th April 2007.

 
 

Not Enough Night

By Kubichek!

Ever feel yourself losing control? Recently I've found myself thinking, almost hoping for someone to step just a little out of line and give me a reason to take a swing. I visualise knocking them down then pummelling them in a flurry of fists, cartoon style. What's more when I look around I don't think I'm the only one with these fantasies. Ground down by the nine-to-five routine and the little selfish acts so common in the city, frustration simmers everywhere. I find my own pent-up anger is actually useful sometimes, if you can channel it, store it up and feel it burn, it forces you to change, develop and ultimately improve your situation.

Kubichek! are steeped in this anger and frustration and it bleeds through their album. They surge. In their best moments the feeling of losing it is right there distilled on record. As they hit the chorus it's like you're hurtling through the air. They're not even particularly rapid, certainly a lot steadier than some of the American hardcore acts (Minor Threat, Bad Brains, early Blag Flag) I'd typically associate that sensation with. To me it seems like Kubichek! are a hardcore band playing an indie set and though at times you can pick up hints of Bloc Party, Futureheads, Editors and some of the DTTR crew, their sound is pretty distinctive.

Perhaps adapting this style was their own compromise. They readily admit they don't want to go back to their recently deserted desk jobs. Like The Sunshine Underground before them they've smoothed out the raw edges of their live show in the mix. The result, like 'Raise The Alarm', is a radio-friendly indie-pop record with mainstream aspirations that will undoubtedly frustrate those seeking something more experimental. If you can accept their production choices, then their songs only falter when they discard their natural pace and sense of urgency for something approaching post-rock ('Hope Is Impossible', 'Start As We Mean To').

These are rare faults though on an album that flails through its twelve tracks. After a menacing rising tide of noise at the outset they charge in to a series of three minute electric-pulses. 'Taxi' details their defining urge - to escape the endless grind, the pointless rat-race plotting against each other for the sake of a payrise or the chance of a trophy fuck. Instead they find themselves "looking for something more than, what's on offer when the lights go down at night". The album title is taken from the Kerouac quote ("Not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night") that also fuels single 'Nightjoy', and this, their trademark song, is fantastic with memorable hooks and an ecstasy-high chorus kick. However it's the other tracks that really establish 'Not Enough Night'. 'Outwards', 'Opening Shot' and especially 'Just Shut It Down' whose furious chorus battles against the status quo endorsing verses ("There is nothing better than playing it safe/ There is nothing better than a lack of change").

Time for some anger management. Step one - put the bat down. Step two - pick up a copy of 'Not Enough Night'. Step three - make a start finding your own way out of the maze.

 

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