'The Biba-hippy lifestyle outlined in "303" seems irredeemably naff'
Kula Shaker K Columbia SHAKER 1 CD
Friday 20 September 1996
There's nothing wrong with that per se - none of their Britpop peers exactly shun the influence of earlier decades; but Kula Shaker's sound and style seem so completely uninformed by any hint - musically, politically - of the intervening three decades that it's virtually an anachronistic absurdity. Still, that never did Paul Weller's career any harm. Like Weller, Kula Shaker cleave to that moment when mods like the Small Faces discovered LSD; they spice their psychedelic pop with just enough R&B punch on tracks like "Hey Dude" and "Grateful When You're Dead", appropriating on the latter the descending riff from the Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man". That's tough company to keep, and given their 30-year head start, they don't make too much of it. Without the Zeitgeist to excuse them, the love-over-gold hippy sentiments of "Hey Dude" and the Biba-hippy lifestyle outlined in "303" just seem irredeemably naff and middle class.
There's an impressive blend of dynamism and melody to parts of the album but overall it seems prefabricated and impersonal, built from metal and plastic rather than carved from wood and stone. When they use sitars, for instance, it's not in the rudimentary manner of classic hippy prog- rock, but with a worldly ease at odds with the ethereal intentions. Everything's so polished, with barely a hair out of place: despite Crispian Mills's suggestion, in "303", that he might "grow myself a big old hairy moustache", it's the least hairy music you'll hear all year. They'll be massive, of course.
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
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
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