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Album Review: We Chose Pretty Names by Kermes

Leicester indie-punk quartet Kermes release their debut album, We Chose Pretty Names on 13th April via Robot Needs Home. A self-described queer indie-punk band, Kermes were born in the heart of Leicester’s close-knit DIY music community and over the course of an EP and their upcoming debut album, explore themes of transgender identity, depression, misogyny, anti-capitalism, queer relationships and being an increasingly visible target in an increasingly hostile world.

It’s a strange album, one of those albums that comes along every so often that you can’t work out if you like it or not. It treads a line between being bland and mildly interesting, while veering between instant pop hooks and unlistenable chaos. ‘Questioning’ has the basis on a great indie-punk track spoilt by horrible vocals while latest single ‘Casting The Creatures’ veers between big hooks and a chaotic din.

‘Boyfriend’ has some nice almost dream-pop style loops and ‘Time To Shut Him Up’ has some Bloc Party-esque indie swagger. Throw in the post-punk vibe of ‘We Choose Pretty Names’ and you’ve covered off the best tracks. Opener ‘I Wanna Be Yr Sometimes’ and closer ‘Yr Beast’ bookend the album nicely and are decent tracks, even if they are painfully similar.

It’s difficult to find any real connection with the album. While it may set out to tackle the big topics the vocal delivery is so poor you find yourself try to ignore it and focusing on the music. That further dampens your enjoyment of We Chose Pretty Names as the discordance and bum notes are main painfully obvious.

It’s a difficult and not particularly enjoyable listen but it’s bland enough to be inoffensive and disappear into the background.

AD Rating 4/10

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