Electro Pop | Indie Pop | Bedroom Pop
While many fans of the British electro pop trio that Kero Kero Bonito would’ve most likely been introduced to them through the classic, meme-worthy singles of their early days, such as “Flamingo” and “I’d Rather Sleep”, I was a bit more late to the party.
While I at least recognised the aforementioned singles, without actually knowing that they belonged to Kero Kero Bonito, my first proper introduction to the band was technically through their 2018 album Time ’n’ Place. I discovered this album during a time where new and exciting albums were seemingly scarce. So while that situation definitely helped Time ’n’ Place to stand as a memorable piece, it did so on its own merit as well.
There was such a brimming sense of quirky lo-fi charm that this album emanated, and it kind of made Time ’n’ Place unlike any album I had enjoyed beforehand. As well as this, I felt that Time ’n’ Place also stood as the most energetic project the band had put out to that point, thanks to its generous injection of dance-rock inspiration. That being said, I was a fan of the group from there on out.
Unfortunately, I was unaware that after the release of Time ’n’ Place, that we wouldn’t be getting another full-length project for a very long time. In-fact, fans are still waiting on it to this day. However, what we do have instead, are two EP’s; the first and second instalments of Civilisation.
And yes, I am aware that only one of those EP’s is actually new. It’s a little fuzzy to me regarding why I hadn’t reviewed Civilisation I back when it released two whole years ago, but I assume it either had something to do with its minimal offering of three tracks, the numbering of the EP suggesting to me that another one was imminently on the way, or a mixture of the two.
As for Civilisation II, well, that only came out recently, and is the main reason that i have decided to cover both in this article today. I already created a similar article earlier this year, where I compared and reviewed both of JPEGMAFIA’s most recent EP’s, but this one is a slightly different ball-game, as these projects are two full years apart.
Despite the distance between them regarding release date, Civilisation I and Civilisation II do share some similarities; not only in the way that both carry three tracks each, but also in the way that they sound.
I would argue that both of these EP’s retract the more dance-rock inspired vibes, which in my mind is neither a good or bad thing, but rather just stands as an observation. I feel that these two short projects do a decent job in regards to capturing the essence of what Kero Kero Bonito is all about, and portraying that to new listeners.
However, neither project really has enough freedom to pursue a new style or concept anyway, because of the constraints each project has due to their short tracklists. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; three tracks just never feels like enough, not even for an EP. And while I would normally make an exception for two projects that are tied in with one-another, they are two whole years apart from each-other. That being said, the short tracklists that each of these EPs share, is easily their biggest letdown.
Pitting these two EPs against each-other, I would automatically say that Civilisation II is the superior project musically. While the first still carried that Kero Kero Bonito feel, I would say that “Battle Lines” stood as the clear favourite track of mine from there, while with the newest EP, all three contribute something both unique and engaging to the EP. Although, if I did have to pick a favourite, it would be the lustrously progressive and spiritual dance banger that is “Well Rested”.
While my hunger for that Kero Kero Bonito sound has only been partially satiated by these two EPs, most of the tracks between the two sounded far, far away from simply being throwaway singles, and I am hopeful that they will do well to keep me going until that fateful day when we finally receive KKB’s next studio album.
Favourite Track of Civilisation I: Battle Lines
Least Favourite Track of Civilisation I: When the Fire Comes
Favourite Track of Civilisation II: Well Rested
Least favourite Track of Civilisation II: 21/04/20
Enjoyment: ★★★ | Memorability: ★★ | Atmosphere: ★★★★
Uniqueness:★★★★ | Satisfaction: ★★ | Narrative: ★★★
Final Score: ★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★ | Memorability: ★★★ | Atmosphere: ★★★★
Uniqueness: ★★★★ | Satisfaction: ★★★ | Narrative: ★★★★