Civilisation II by Kero Ker Bonito Album review by Adam Fink for Northern Transmissions

Polyvinyl Record Co.

8

Kero Kero Bonito

Civilisation II

This is a story in three parts. No matter what happens just remember that this takes place entirely in the space between your headphones and I’m here to make sure that you will be properly hydrated and fed. I have a bag of snacks and a Gatorade. Here’s some sunglasses and my hand. Take both and let’s go.

Part 1 – “The Princess and the Clock”

“Oh, ooo, Oh”, said the Princess from the top of the tower in which she finds herself residing. There was something about these words that immediately lit up all who heard them. An instant hook that grounds the entirety of everything that is to come. Punctuated by analog synths and riding on a bright and punchy drum beat, the Princess dreams of one day sprouting wings like the birds she sees from the lone window of the chamber. She holds onto the picture in her head of the place that she is from, using her memory to paint a picture of that place in hopes of never losing sight of this. While holding onto these memories becomes harder and harder by the day, the energetic world of melodic bliss she is surrounded by is enough to keep things afloat and feeling light. Wait, was that a key change at the tail end of that synth break? Oh yes, it was and it was glorious.

Part 2 – “21/04/20”

Is it month/day/year or day/month/year? I know “year” is always at the end but, anyway, I digress. Hang on to my hand tightly. This one feels pretty close to home. What did you do today? Oh, you know the same as yesterday and the day before. Even though the days are running into each other, this dreamy synth bass I’m hearing is making me feel better. Let’s go for a walk down this sidewalk that’s made up of a loopy drumbeat and even though the messages written on these closed shop windows seem mundane, they are delivered with an expertly rendered melodic sensibility. I sure do love those little stabs of that keyboard, and, I know I mentioned it already but this vocal melody will be stuck in my head all night. I heard the little girl next door had a birthday, maybe later we can set up a call as yours is coming up. I know it’s not the same as seeing each other but it’ll have to do for now. Without sounding too bleak, tomorrow is a new day and I hope you can drift off into a restful sleep on the back of this delicious analog drum beat.

Part 3 – “Well Rested”

This is the conclusion and even though that throbbing bass seems a little angrier than what we were dancing to before, there is some hope here. You hear that descending synth line? Yeah I thought that was pretty cool too. Was that a Bloc Party sample? Sure sounded like it but I’m not entirely sure. With the way things are going these days, it can all feel pretty bleak but just remember “For all of existence/Humanity has been guided by only one principle/To keep living”. Let’s keep that thought in our head and ride out this sharp house beat and sink into that keyboard solo. It’s a little choppy but such an ear worm. What’s the message here? We as a civilization have been through a helluva lot but we will keep going because that is what we have to do. I know that this grounded reality isn’t the most optimistic point of view but we have another five minutes of this bass and beat and we can dance it out until we feel better.

The new EP Civilisation II, from Kero Kero Bonito is out today and it’s truly worth your time to listen to.

order Civilisation II today HERE