From the “what’s old is new again” playbook comes The
88, a Los Angeles band who puts a fresh spin on classic sounds. The 88
takes a snapshot from the picture book of Muswell Hill era Kinks, in large
part due to the old-timey keyboards of Adam Merrin and the Ray Davies-flecked
lead vocals of songwriter Keith Slettedahl, but Slettedahl’s voice
also features a vibrato-soaked croak a la The Mommyheads’ Adam Cohen
that will please those more inclined towards modern rock. The songs on
Kind Of Light are marked by unusual changes in chord structure, intensity,
and tempo, as well lots of counterpoint, all of which are executed seamlessly.
The best tunes, including “All The Same,” Elbow Blues,”
“How Good It Can Be,” “God Is Coming,” Melting
In The Sun,” and “Sunday Afternoon,” capture the various
vibes and comportments of a Wild West saloon, and deftly alternate between
being brooding and fun. Kind Of Light is an excellent beginning from a
band you’ll hear a lot about in the coming years.