Second album from Kontiki Suite, a gang of countryish dudes making carefully crafted slices of pop-rock. The Greatest Show On Earth is dramatic not so much in the sense that it is sonically wild, but in that it summons up stories in the mind of the listener. Lovely cover art too. The band are self-releasing this one, but as a pro-produced digipak CD.
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- The Greatest Show On Earth by Kontiki Suite
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 14 January 2016
I’ve got me in the mood for some country rockin’. Don’t know what brought it on but let's not worry about that right now and lets dip into this excellent tuneful album of lilting country pop.
I don’t know much about Kontiki Suite other than they are a 'gang of countryish dudes'. The opening title track is a free flowing delight with chiming guitars, multi-layered harmonies and the kind of folk rock that Love used to make. It’s safe to presume that a tambourine has been liberally shaken. Double stamping my presumption that these guys are heavily influenced by Gene Clark is ‘My Own Little World’ which has weeping steel guitars, tangled rickenbackers and someone who appeared to be Gene Clark handling lead vocals. What I like about this band is that they rock softly. A lot of country rock is too honky tonk for me but these guys sound like they play with cotton wool on their fingers. They rock as softly as Matthews Southern Comfort on a tired day but on ‘Here For You Now’ there’s plenty of the stinging jangle of early the Byrds and Tom Petty. I particularly like the stuttering melodies of the gorgeous ‘Keep Up With My Old Self’ which sits right between Teenage Fanclub and Rain Parade.
Really strong stuff throughout and if stuck just imagine what a band who uses the song title ‘Pages of My Mind’ might sound like. Yup Kontiki Suite sound just like that.
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