Review of Inside In/Inside Out Album by The Kooks

The Kooks
"Inside In/Inside Out"

Released 23/01/06

The Kooks Inside In/Inside Out Album

The first time that Brighton quartet The Kooks played together, they knocked out a cover of The Strokes' "Reptilia". They've come a long way since then, becoming darlings of the music press, and backing up the coverage with impressive supporting slots for The Thrills and The Subways.

"Inside In/Inside Out" is a record packed with great rock songs tinged with catchy pop melodies – but it opens with a short acoustic number that demonstrates a fragile side to singer Luke Pritchard. "See The World" then explodes with screaming guitars and brilliant energy, before the sweet melody of "Sofa Song" kicks in. It's a track laced with humour, as is the tellingly titled "Jackie Big Tits". Debut single from last summer "Eddie's Gun" is a quirky rocker, and while most recent release "You Don't Love Me" is a stomping track that leans towards punk. A breezy acoustic ditty, "She Moves In Her Own Way" is as catchy as the best work of The Coral and The Zutons.

Showing the confidence to experiment with their music, hints of ska are to be found in "Match Box" and "Time Awaits", the latter of which features a pointless false ending. The Kooks also show a darker side in the thunderous "I Want You Back". Utilising a soulful piano, it bursts into a grand and emotive track that is highly impressive, and the one of the standout moments of the record. Indeed, the only disappointment is "Got No Love", a lifeless dirge that concludes the album on a low note – but it doesn't ruin what is an enjoyable debut.

Alex Lai

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