If you are unfamiliar with London-based Officer Kicks, you can be forgiven: in their own biography they declare: “if success was measured by fame or money then we would be in the bottom of a barrel marked ‘invalid’ and my musical life (all 10 years of it) would be labelled the ‘LONG void’”.
They are well aware of the hardships that feed into the stereotypical musician’s lifestyle. Having been dropped by their first label before getting anywhere, Jamie Scallion, Keith Wickham, Jamie Fisher, and Michael Skorjanec started back at square one, playing small gigs, and recording their own material until We Make Things took them on. Their second stab has, so far, been a steady climb, with one Glastonbury appearance and a successful debut album already under their belts and the foursome are set to secure this position.
Citywide Curfew, their second album since regrouping, is a fierce collection of straight up rock. With mostly guitar-heavy songs it is high in energy, and the range is completed by a few slower piano-based tunes. Despite comprising of undeniably rock tunes, the album has something indie-pop about it. Reviews have likened them to a fusion of Led Zeppelin and Arctic Monkeys – a concept that may alarm diehard fans of either band, yet quite successfully captures the balance struck between heavy and crowd-pleasing. Fast and strong opening track ‘The Kraken’, is a perfect example of this, with an indulgent guitar intro and a catchy chorus.
Despite arguably ‘playing it safe’ by branching genres, they do not fall short, and the only element in which they are lacking would be to sound more distinctive from other bands of this kind. However, Officer Kicks have reasserted themselves confidently as a rock band to watch.