Simpering Southern glam-rock warbler Kyle Craft returns to Sub Pop with a second diner jukebox-ready long player, Full Circle Nightmare. Painstakingly faithful to the seediest, most regretful and wistful sentiments of the genre, the music sounds precisely as Kyle looks: as if generated by some sort of Americana algorithm. Does he actually exist? I think we should be told! Available nonetheless in limited LP, unlimited LP, CD or cassette formats.
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It’s glam. I don’t know how exactly but it is: there’s a dude wearing a hat on the front cover and Kyle Craft has a fuzzed-up hair thing going on. He’s about to answer a phone. His suit, a kind of mustard-white, is captivating. There’s a table. There are cards. The scene is set: it’s rock music for the world’s friendliest bar brawl, one I imagine will get as raucous as the famous food fight of Travis’ past.
Kyle Craft rocks, essentially, in the olde way, going hard on trad melodies and a half-husky voice that recalls, I don’t know, not Meat Loaf but kinda Meat Loaf. It’s a catchy, endlessly pleasing affair, riffs flying off the wall on the “Fever Dream Girl” / “Full Circle Nightmare” two-parter with the odd saxophone skronk to boot. “Heart Break Junky” is a wonderful slice of folk rock with tambourines, hearty strums and Band-like guitar licks that keep the song in the strange territory between exuberant and melancholy. “Belmont” has twinkly pianos and a brimming bassline that wants to explode, along with maybe the loudest production job ever -- Kyle Craft is literally shouting to stay alive in this one. The whole record exists in this high-voltage space where rock music is being yelled in your ears like you asked it to speak up too many times.
Craft is so fun at times that he feels too good to be true -- is this a rock star or a jukebox selection ready to rile every member of the drinking public? At some point this year I’m going to go to Leeds’ own Fenton and pick one of his songs, just to watch the drinks slosh.
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