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Review: Teetotal – The Kairos

Liverpool based The Kairos are Tom Dempsey (guitar and vocals), Owen Forrester (bass), Sam Bradley (drums and vocals) and Lewis Chambers (guitar).   They first came on to my radar at the end of last year.  They were the main support to The Cheap Thrills at their sold-out Liverpool O2 Academy gig.  I was Immediately struck by their indie rock attitude and stage presence.  They reminded me of The Snuts.  All zipped-up cagoules and swagger.  Thankfully they had the songs to back-up their boldness.  They have since headlined their own gig at Jimmy’s, Liverpool, and showed equal arrogance and ability.    

Teetotal is The Kairos second single, following on from last year’s Money Mind, a vitriolic, indie take on the theme of girls as gold-diggers’.  Eat your heart out Kanye.  New single Teetotal is an exciting, vibrant testament to youth.  An acknowledgement of new-found freedom, coming of age, and just plain enjoying yourself.

The song kicks off with a pounding fast paced, lo-fi drum beat which is quickly joined by, wailing, layered, harmonic guitars and a driving bass.  It’s a banging, indie wall of sound.  It’s energetic and relentless, just like a night out in the city with your mates when you’re 18.  It’s a song that doesn’t let up.

Vocally it’s impossible for singer Tom Dempsey to hide his influences.  There’s more than a hint of Liam Gallagher attitude in his singing style especially in the chorus when he sings, ‘I’ve seen it all before, once or maybe more.  And I can feel it coming over, feel it coming over’.  The delivery of the vocals and the drawn-out syllables are reminiscent of the younger Gallagher brother.

There’s a very slight change of tempo, with a drop for the chorus.  It’s as though you’re on a big night out and you need to take a moment to get your second wind, and then we’re off again.  The song builds to a blistering guitar solo and the ends in a hail of echo and reverb.   We’re done.  Time for a taxi home.  Let’s do it all again next weekend.  

If you like your indie on the heavier side, and you’re a fan of bands like The Blinders or The Dirty Laces, then this is a tune you may like.  Give it a listen.             

Teetotal is released on Friday 24th January and is available on all the usual platforms.  If you want to catch them live, get along to Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory on Friday 21st February where they are performing alongside RATS.

Ian Dunphy.        

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