Let me just spit it out from the get-go KaitO lead singer/guitarist Niki Colk sounds like Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O. Wait, wait, wait I should say O sounds like Colk, should I not? KaitO did form two years before the Yeahs. What's the matter anyhow? Neither are rip-off imitators. I'm just putting it on the table may as well start the snubbing, name-calling and finger-pointing now. One is bound to be dubbed "wannabe" of the other sooner than later. And with the Yeahs' current rise to stardom, poor Colk will likely suffer the brunt of it. Whatever, right? Who cares, right? I don't, you shouldn't. But someone will. But, you and me, we'll be over it, we've already discussed and we've agreed it to be a mere coincidence, isn't that right? Right.
How rude we've been, spending all this time chit-chatting about nothing to do with music, just meaningless comparisons. So unfair it is. Last comparison (I promise): KaitO's sound is little like that of the Yeahs or vice versa. We got bass, oh yes, we've got bass.
KaitO Colk, bassist Gemma Cullingford, guitarist David Lake and drummer Dee Quantrill make melodic/noisy punk that sounds as if it were recorded in a garage. The UK foursome's beats are utterly infectious, but the instrumentation still feels messy in a fun, punk way. "Enemyline" opens Band Red with a rather sluggish beat that's infiltrated with spastic, high-pitched guitar and spazzed-out, vibrating vocals. "Try Me Out" first feels like Siouxsie & the Banshees for its minimal dance beats and distortion on the mic, then breaks into the most Karen O-sound-alike singing of the record: "Why not try me out, out, out," Colk gasps, quivers and shrieks. "Anamoy" stutters along most steadfastly on rollicking rhythms and quick-repeated back-up breathy gasps, anchored in bass, while "A.S.A. to Accuracy" feels the most like old-school punk for its gritty, simplistic riff backed by a single chord on repeat. The wiry, all-instrumental "?" is perhaps a question mark because, lacking lyrics, it has no subject to evoke a title. Closer "3am" is fed by the tick-tock of a clock; a one-two guitar line, airy, soft, slides in every now and then to woo you delicately.
Band Red spins bouncy, raw, sloppy and slightly erratic punk that can stake a claim for carving out a jagged edge of its own, complete with loveable, contagious sing-along sounds. And the fact that KaitO's noise is broken, distorted and just plain fucked-up at times makes them that much more dig-able.
Whether KaitO put the O in Karen or Karen stuck the O to them is irrelevant 'cause they're both so darn great who wants to ruin it for everyone? Not me, not you. Right? Right.