We begin with “You Never Know” and WHAT a way to kick this album off! Originally available on the “Bloodshot Eyes” single, it perfectly encapsulates all that was good with the early nu-metal era of alternative rap rock…the fuzzy guitar distortion, the deep bass lines, the up-tempo delivery…sharp, angst-riddled lyrics and a huge hook-filled chorus, full of melody and harmony. The instrumental-heavy climax genuinely gives you goose-bumps as it filters out with one last flurry of noise and passion and it’s perfect. Firstly this belongs on the actual album, and secondly this deserves to close proceedings, end on a high note, y’know? It’s got that vibe to it…fucking brilliant stuff. We follow this up with the Melodic Mix of “24-7” and while it retains the original rap-heavy approach of the album version, here we find David taking over on vocal duties for the chorus instead of Nic Harvard and it gives us a fresh take on a classic. It’s still full of piss and vinegar but the inclusion of cleaner vocals softens the track, rendering it both freshly interesting but no less enjoyable compared to the original.
Elsewhere we have “Wide Awake” which features a brief guest vocal from SKINDRED front-man Benji Webbe. His inclusion is minimal at best, really, only offering what can be described as Caribbean Scat? I mean that as in the Scat Man (Bee-dap-bap-badda-boop), not as in, shit…please be aware of that, thank you. The song itself is a primarily mellow acoustic ballad and aside from a mid-track tempo-change of Nic’s low-key hip-hop input, it serves as a wonderfully sweet ballad, showing the Welsh quintet were more than one-trick ponies. “Bring Me Down” ironically picks things back up again with a grittier, riff-driven guitar sound before some sleek, classic hip-hop lyrical delivery, in ways harking back to the likes of PUBLIC ENEMY (Think the early Tony Hawk soundtracks), while promotional single “Proud” really gets going in proper KST fashion…really emphasising their status as the valley’s answer to LINKIN PARK…few UK acts truly embraced the nu-metal movement like this lot and despite a genre saturation, their background and tastes allowed them to still sound unique and exciting, which still holds true to this day.
At only nine tracks long, it’s over far too quickly…alternative versions of “Yourself” and the aforementioned “Bloodshot Eyes” make an appearance, and if anything can be picked at really it’s the deep cut “E.M.B.”, which with its funk-driven instrumental style and almost 70’s guitar-tones sounds more out of place than anything else, but let’s be honest, this is the kind of sound you light up for, if you know what I mean? You do dabble in the devils lettuce, don’t you? Essentially, as was discussed with David, The Kennedy Soundtrack are happy to be back and they’re excited to be playing music again…while at the same time, long-time fans are even happier to have them back themselves. Somewhat of a cult band given their brief original run, but now is THE perfect time to discover KST, or even give them another chance. Hopefully we’ll have new music in 2019, and they’ll be killing music all over again.