January 25, 2001
I Am Kloot: London Camden Dingwalls
Much-hyped Manc NAM-types prove the rock hack bluster is justified...
There's no such thing as a New Acoustic Movement. A movement - by definition - has to move: go from one place, objective or thing to another. Just playing your drums with brushes and unplugging your guitar occasionally doesn't count.
Still, if there was such a thing as NAM then I Am Kloot would be the Viet Cong. God knows why - except that it sounds cool, and, after a long year of hype, I Am Kloot are still irresistibly cool. Sometimes, indeed, they're positively freezing. Songs like '86 TVs' and 'Storm Warning', in particular, deal in instant frostbite where others would settle for a warm glow. There's a total absence of sentimentality in Manc frontman John Bramwell's voice which, when combined with the slow, calm shuffle of guitar and the rich, almost funky lines of bass, is much more moving than a show-off howl.
I Am Kloot certainly don't rock in the conventional sense. Theirs is a guerrilla warfare of tunes, which creep into your head unexpectedly, all dark echoes and unhealthy love songs like 'Twist'. But, unlike many bands who've seemingly chosen this route because they don't
have the energy for anything more exacting, they've pursued this sound because it's the most direct - and anything louder would just be a waste of noise.
Your Jeff Drakes and Nick Buckleys would probably approve but it's not about them. John Bramwell looks like Noel Gallagher with a shrunken head - and maybe that's a closer comparison. Oasis, sans rock-ego. It's a crazy idea but it might just work.
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