With just 10 songs, the duo Kool Stuff Katie has managed to sneak in the best debut of the year. Unfortunate band name aside, Portland-based musicians Shane Blem and Saren Oliver have crammed together garage rock, new wave, punk and a liberal mix of hooky pop music for an instantly-infectious sound that brings to mind everyone from The Cars and The Kinks to The Breeders and The Ramones.
The duo – Oliver on drums, Blem on guitar and both on vocals – manage to make a lot more noise than you’d expect from a two piece. From the rollicking opener, “Hard Girl to Know,” all the way through to the final track, the band is a sonic whirlwind of distorted chords, frenetic drumming and maddeningly catchy choruses.
A flawless execution from top to bottom.
Kool Stuff Katie – Self-titled/10 tracks/Self-Released/2014