At the Club (Warner Bros.)
by Scott Hefflon
Opening At The Club with a snotty, up-tempo pop gem like “In Your Car,” Kenickie establish themselves as the flamboyant, self-assured rock star darlings the press sucks on like candy and the fans scream along to in their cars and in the clubs. They sing the word “yeah” 72 freakin’ times, as often as not in layered harmonies of bratty “nyah-nyah” sing-song. Surprisingly, the 18 year old gals (and token drummer boy, Johnny X) mix up the post-Primitives, less giggly Go-Go’s peppy pop/punky pop with a touch of rainy day melancholy which overshadows their inexperience and youthful idealism. Teen anthems of scathing criticism, tongue-in-cheek fuck-alls, and the celebration of being young, attractive, and having a world of possibilities before you, Kenickie strike a chord or three that rings true, loud, and proud.
Fave songs, coincidentally the more uptempo numbers, are the musical-esque “In Your Car” (“Yeah? What happened then?” “Well, lemme tell ya.”), the dress-up-and-go-out sentiments of “Nightlife” and “Come Out 2Nite” (the latter having more uplifting “go for it” slogans than your average Armed Services commercial), and best of all “Punka,” a beautifully simple riff layered with group shouts of “hey!” and “PUNKA!” all punctuating a kiss off/piss off to the lo-fi elitists. Beautifully mixed with the guitars sounding live and in-yer-face, yet the gutsy girl backing vox sounding hugely over-processed and,shiver, almost glam rock. Far from a one-hit wonder, Kenickie start strong and end strong with no burn out or sell out in sight. They were born to be pop stars.