Kumquat Indie Rock 4evr

Even though this San Franciscan quartet's debut full-length stylistically hovers tentatively between the noisy feedback-driven moody pop of Teenage Fanclub, the cutesy, yet edgy, tones of jale, the lo-fi, edgy and jangly power pop of Superchunk and the growly delivery of an L7, Kumquat tries to cover too much sonic territory over the album's dozen tracks, causing the recording to sound disjointed and derivative. Listen to the songs on their own and they will please, in that they are musically sound. Yet listen to them as a bunch and you finds yourself hearing their Sonic Youth song, and their stab at something grungy, like Mudhoney, their Muffs impersonation... Problem is, most of the songs they are "paying homage" to, intentionally or not, were done better by whatever group you think you're hearing. Given a few more years to focus on a musical identity, or at least the aspects of songwriting that they are strong with as a band, before committing themselves to further recordings - by, say, touring more and practicing less to get that spontaneity going - and they might find their next album will profit from it. The pieces are all here, but either they seem like they come out of a cookie cutter after being used by other more familiar, or more skilled, hands, or are too purposefully assembled, so as to be as useless as an assembled object. By the way, hasn't roaring guitar feedback become the biggest cliché in all of indie music-dom? Perhaps that's what they meant by the album title. (Sex not Suicide)