In a sense, the Kola Koca Death Squad takes the best parts of Johnny Rotten and Lou Reed, while simultaneously working under a psychedelic-influenced instrumentation to make something memorable for the first track on this disc, “Rising Son”. What is really a chaotic and emotional-filled set of vocals during “Power Condition” are really dominated and removed from their context with the very angular and proper arrangements on the track.
When The Kola Koca Death Squad show listeners that they have the ability to rein in some of the most powerful forces on this disc, they are not just showing a maturity but rather an understanding of the situation that values the building up of emotion until that time when a tremendous explosion issues forth. “Trying To Remember” brings the skills of the band forward to listeners again; non-traditional guitar lines make a piecemeal harmony that is at times infectious enough to dance to The largely-instrumental nature of this track also gives fans something dense to mull on; these are not the bar chords that dominated acts like the aforementioned Iggy Pop-led Stooges, but rather a contemplative, at times heavy rock that seems more suited for bands like Black Sabbath. “Girls In Action” stays within the seventies-rock paradigm expounded upon throughout this disc, but has The Kola Koca Death Squad again infuse their music with an irresistible melody that just challenges individuals to stop listening, for even a second.
“To Whom it May Concern” seems to be an early shut-down to the disc, as the mindless strumming that provide the opening to the disc really sounds as if the band is a step away from shutting down their amps and getting a case. The heart-breaking vocals present on “To Whom It May Concern” really seem to come from the same wellspring as “Pinball Wizard”-era Elton John and (surprisingly enough) “8 Full Hours Of Sleep”-era Against Me!. While the decision to place three songs after the logical ending of the disc may be suspect, the fact is the rockabilly sound of “Long Way” goes a long way in keeping individuals interested and the disc fresh even in its last gasps. The true ending of this disc is “We’re Gonna Go With This” really paints a positive picture for the ending; it almost seems as if the Kola Koca Death Squad are creating the context for their next album, which from the sounds of this track (the slightly more Husker Du-influenced almost-punk here) will be a large departure from this album.
Top Tracks: To Whom It May Concern, We’re Gonna Go With This
The Kola Koca Death Squad – S/T / 2005 Wife Records / 13 Tracks / http://www.kolakocadeathsquad.com / http://www.wiferecords.com / Reviewed 15 September 2005