Thursday, February 02, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 5: Kepi Ghoulie - I Bleed Rock 'n Roll

This week’s recommendation is pure rock ’n roll. Kepi Ghoulie has done it again, rocking the brains out of the human population with his latest album, I Bleed Rock ‘n Roll. With a long history of crafting quintessential pop punk songs with Groovie Ghoulies, The Haints, Little Medusas, and as a solo artist, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Kepi’s new album would be packed with ridiculously catchy, incredibly dance-able, and lyrically impressive pop punk songs; however, on this album, Kepi has stepped outside the box with a sound that is more layered, more punchy, more experimental, more complex, and more rock ‘n roll. Change and experimentation doesn’t always work out well for all artists, but for Kepi it has definitely paid off and has resulted in some of his best work yet, and while I would have been perfectly happy if Kepi had continued on with his traditional, no frills sound without adding or changing a thing to it until the end of time, I am loving the fact that he had the courage and gusto to expand and that it totally worked out for him. Some standout tracks this time around include “Nikki Lee,” “The Fever,” and “Part Time Romeo.” A couple of the tracks on the album are re-workings of older songs – “When I’m Gone” and “Love to Give” – and both renditions are amazing, vast improvements, and highly recommended. On “Unfigureoutable,” Kepi channels Daniel Dale Johnston, which caught me off guard at first listen, but actually happens to be a nice, little break amidst non-stop rocking. Kepi also added a cover song to the mix – “Blame It on Mom” by Johnny Thunders – and totally nailed it, of course. Lyrically, this is a Kepi album through and through, and “Break My Heart” features lyrics that are trademark Kepi:

“I’ll just go down to the gutter
Ask it if it’s seen my heart
I’ll get directions to the shredder
And I’ll go and pick up all the parts
And then I’ll put ‘em in my pocket
And then I’ll go down to the tailor
And then I’ll say ‘Can you fix me up?’
And he’ll say ‘No way, man. There’s no way!’ ”

If there is one person on this planet that I would say actually bleeds rock ‘n roll, it would have to be Kepi without question; thus, his new album is aptly titled in more ways than one. If you want proof of Kepi’s rock ‘n roll prowess, just listen to “Nikki Lee” and try and convince me that he’s not a rock ‘n roll king. Even if this is Kepi’s magnum opus, which it very well could be, I sincerely hope that he keeps on rocking for a long, long time to come.

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