They may have been named for the blonde Goddess of Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo, but my expectations for Kim Novak were not so giddy. More stabbing, abrasive guitar rhythms. More new wave of post-punk. Eyes glazing already? Yeah, well, stifle that yawn. I had to. Kim Novak's Luck & Accident forced me to, so I don't see why you should be any different.
On first listen, French art rockers Kim Novak sound like yet more makeweights in the great Joy
Division wannabe steeplechase. Rank outsiders then, who will in all likelihood fall at the first fence and require shooting. Thing is, by the end of the race these guys are still running. Running hard.
What a cracking little album. In truth it is a little melodically challenging
at first, but just needs those precious few listens for the required recognition
to come though. One of the most impressive tracks on display is undoubtedly In
the Mirror. This flickers stylistically between Tindersticks and Lou Reed.
I'm both tempted and afraid to compare them to The National. Why tempted? Because
it wouldn't be unjust. Why afraid? Again because it wouldn't be unjust, and
right now I'm just not sure I could cope with another band as good as The National.
Ant yet there is something slightly more warped about Kim Novak than say The
National, Interpol, Tindersticks or anyone
else we might care to mention in the same breath. Something less cool, less
staged. Some Photographs reeks
of Interpol, but theirs is
an Interpol of cheap suits and bad hair.
An Interpol lost to wild
abandon. Maybe they should have titled this Le déclin de
la puissance navale fran§ais? (Brendan's Translation: "the decline
of French sea power")
There's so much (love) to admire in this record. The music is twitchy, arty
and fun, bringing to mind Talking Heads far more than those ubiquitous Joy
Division claims. The cover art recalls the opening of Dario Argento's Suspiria.
(Am I right or am I right?) The titles themselves are delightful. I mean - Turn
a Rabbit. How fantastic is that?
Racing certainties Kim Novak may not yet be, but perhaps we may be witnessing the first staggering steps of a newborn, soon to be thoroughbred?
Get your wallets out.