Friday 08 August 2003
The stadium-house trio Kosheen are fond of far-flung cultural references. Their name is an amalgam of the Japanese for "old" and "new", and the Kokopelli after whom their second album is named is the mysterious flute-playing figure found in petroglyphs of the long-extinct Anasazi indians of the American south-west, which makes it all the more surprising that their music should be so bereft of diverse ethnic input. In between the sequenced beats and fuzz-guitars of the electro-Goth anthem "Wish" and the trip-hop groove of "Blue Eyed Boy", there's little that doesn't derive from the most routine of Anglo-American sources. Musicians Markee Substance and Darren Decoder rely on the same kind of fusions of techno synth-lines and chunky fuzz-guitar chords that drive the slick widescreen-house sound of Apollo 440 or, on the humid instrumental "Swamp", the dub-psychedelic-rock of Death In Vegas. But when the slightly sour, astringent vocals of Sian Evans are added to the mix, the result on tracks like the new single "All In My Head" is more like Mel C backed by King Crimson: anthemic but turgid prog rock. Which is marginally better than the swaggering arena rock of "Wasting My Time", which reveals Kosheen to be the T'Pau of their day. Evans' lyrics are heavy on parental responsibility, the joys of the mother-child bond, and departing with dignity, but leave little lasting impression, while the relentless grind of ponderous riffing grows more wearisome with each song. There is a nicely syncopated marimba groove to the penultimate track, "Recovery", but it's far too little, far too late.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant