(Photo Credit - Warren Calbeck)
Advance Review - Kiwi Jr.: Cooler Returns (January 22, 2020) via Sub Pop
Kiwi Jr. starts off the new year with Cooler Returns, their sophomore album and first record under the Sub Pop label. It comes after Football Money, which was released in 2020. While impressive that the group pumped out another album in only a year, both albums sound very similar to each other. Consistency in an artist brings familiarity to fans and provides comfort, however there are those who also look to see an expansion in sound and in the general legacy being built by an artist after a respectable first album. Cooler Runner doesn’t appear to be that for Kiwi Jr.
On terms of familiarity, it seems that Kiwi Jr. almost overplay theirs with early pop rock such as The Shins, The Strokes, etc. until an apparent likeness of Arrah and the Ferns struck a fancy during my first listen through. As I continued listening, I was pleasantly surprised when I found “Only Here for a Haircut” was reminiscent of sounds heard on The Beatles Revolver.
While Football Money might be a sophomore slump, the energy from Kiwi Jr. remains upbeat and this energy will translate into more works and a great stage presence. This album is still a good one to jam and jive to especially when among friends to dance with, although some of the deep tracks might get lost in the shuffle.
Rating - 3/5