Irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, but never anything less than entertaining
Allan will be lounging on a velvet sofa and purring along with the kittens on 16 September 2016 when the ladies release their self-funded album.
I first came across these gloriously glamourous ladies when they covered Andrew W.K.’s ‘Party Hard’ – replete with mickey-taking white-shirted video. Unsuprisingly, The Lounge Kittens have gone viral with several of their videos (and taken an barrage of abuse from Slipknot fans in the process which says more about Slipknot fans than anything else) taking on such rock luminaries as Limp Bizkit and Steel Panther.
Now, we’re all more than familiar with parody and lounge cover versions thanks to the likes of Weird Al Yankovich and Richard Cheese. However, before you dismiss this out of hand, let me tell you something: they opened for Steel Panther on their last UK tour dates. Steel Panther. They’ve raised the roof at Glastonbury – twice. While it may have started off as a few friends having a bit of a laugh, it’s taken on a life of its own.
See, the Kittens love rock. They came up with the idea of the band in The Dungeon, which is (apparently) Southampton’s iconic rock club (whatever that means). Not only that, they have a tendency to pick more unusual tracks to cover, too – System of a Down’s ‘Bounce’, for example, or ‘Bodies’ by Drowning Pool, or even Marilyn Manson’s ‘The Beautiful People’. But they’re by no means exclusive to genre either; the album also contains a superb version of the House of Pain classic ‘Jump Around’, and a medley of tracks by The Prodigy as well as one of Rammstein’s tracks.
There’s a love of the source material coming through, with classic rock tracks such as ‘Africa’, ‘Poison’, ‘Changes’ and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ also finding a home on the album. There’s a light touch on the humour front, too – musical stings and fanciful lifts litter the songs throughout. Irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, but never anything less than entertaining. The Kittens have a fantastic vocal range between them, and their musical expertise really shines through on the album.
But the thing that makes me want to hate them is that their cover of Usher’s ‘Yeah’ actually made me go back and listen to the original in case I’d missed something. No, it’s still shit, but I still had to go and check because their version sounded good. For me, that’s the glorious thing about this kind of cover album – it’s in the transformation of style, it shows you something about the original that you’d missed, or gives you a different angle on a song that you thought you knew, such as their softened ‘Love Is Only A Feeling’ which, without the falsetto screeches of Justin Hawkins, rises up to become a beautiful and heartfelt ballad.
They’re very much playing to the crowd and having fun with it, and they’re doing this in bags of style. Ultimately, though, this is a cover version album, and no matter how transformative or unusual, it’s still relying on familiarity with the original material to make it work. If it works for you, though, you’ll love it.
7 out of 10
- Jump Around
- Love Is Only A Feeling
- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
- Smack My Firestarter To Outer Space
- Want You Bad
- Sad But True
- The Cave
- The Beautiful People