Friday 26 October 2012

Koalia - I See Wet People

Album review by KevW

If you're after some serious introspection then there are a million earnest singer-songwriters out there, go and listen to some of them and wait for the Prozac to kick in. Finnish crew Koalia are here for a party instead, they're not bothered by image, navel-gazing and cutting edge sounds; they're here to have some fun, and judging by their debut album 'I See Wet People' that's exactly what they're doing. There's no room here for muso experimenting or critically lauded innovation, this is a record of explosive three-minute pop-punk songs that have been engineered for pogoing, singing along too and playing very very loud. Koalia are a band for the people, not for the cynical music press to pick apart.

They begin with the gonzo punk of recent single 'Wine & Brandy' and hardly pause for breath until the final bar of the dubiously titled 'Are You Wet Yet' which is also built around buzzing guitars and quick-fire lyrics. Koalia have an objective about how this album should sound and they rigidly adhere to it. Because of this, I See Wet People' will be one of those records that you'll either love or hate. Inhibitions need to be discarded to allow your brain to accept these high-octane, slightly goofy songs with their simple lyrics about love and hate that are littered with profanities. It all feels a bit 2001 but if you can get passed these issues and take this album for what it is then you might just find yourself grinning along.

When they push their sound that little bit more and ditch the deliberately dorky style there are some top tunes to be found. 'Come Alive' works just fine and more of the same would see them taken more seriously, and 'Let Us Party' has a great melody. A few tracks are that bit too knowingly oddball for their own good, such as 'I Don't Care' and 'Johnny's On The Run', plus the occasional hair-metal guitar solos feel slightly out of place. It's difficult not to criticise Koalia for being just that bit too immature, but that's rendered futile by virtue of the fact that this seems to be the whole point. So overall 'I See Wet People' should be considered a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.

Koalia's website

Stream the album in full

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