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Kitto, for those who are unaware, is an expat Aussie who now resides in Sweden. Existing for the majority of her career, from the early 90s, as a solo artist, she's currently exercising her musical talents with guitarist and songwriting partner Pna Andersson in a band context. That said, her latest album 'Crash' has been released under the Kitto banner, her erstwhile solo guise, so the presumption is that this should be regarded as an extension to her solo back catalogue? Categorisation semantics aside, the whopping fourteen tracks that constitute 'Crash' kick some serious alt-rock ass so whether this be a band or solo release matters little. The initial thing to strike me is Kitto's ballsy, low-toned vocal delivery which materialises throughout most of the songs, punctuated on occasion with the higher end of her voice. Ironically, it's an adeptly executed cover of Bowie's 'Heroes' that showcases Kitto's most 'feminine' vocals during its closing bars, but it's her gruffer rock delivery that characterises the original material. Think Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano and that's kind of what's on offer here. The songs themselves, while not breaking any new ground stylistically (instead pertaining to established alt-rock motifs) are loaded with original and engaging melodies, flavoured with both Pna's and Kitto's guitar work and backed by the solid rhythm section of bassist Anders Molin and sticksman Jan Johansson. Sonic morsels of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction and even Nirvana come to the fore sporadically in both sound and style but, ultimately, the songs transcend their influences through, as already noted, an effusion of melodically captivating tunes. Kitto also occasionally demonstrates the folkier side to her art, notably on album closer 'Balloon' with its stripped down guitar/vocals singer/songwriter essence. While 'Crash' is predominantly rooted in 90s alt-rock sonics, said genre has never really been out of favour with a mass listening audience so Kitto is ripe to be discovered by a new generation of music fans with her latest release. Impressive stuff.
Scarecrow Recordings
Review by Mark Holmes
1st Dec 2011
1) Crash; 2) Divide
3) Desert Flower; 4) Sleeping Satellite
5) Stale; 6) Ticket Man
7) Novembers Day
8) Birth of a Samurai
9) Pie
10) Heroes
11) Girl Who Went Away
12) Sober
13) Mania
14) Balloon
"...the songs transcend their influences through...an effusion of melodically captivating tunes."