Kitchen’s Floor – Look Forward To Nothing (Siltbreeze)
By Scott Creney
Now there’s a title that says something about the world today. Look Forward To Nothing. Goddamn right. I don’t know about Australia, but it looks like the rest of the first world is well and truly fucked. The US and UK haven’t created a decent job since 1998. It would take our governments three months of arguing to fix a fucking pothole. And when people take to the streets to point out that a system that is supposed to be a democracy, rule of the people and all that, is actually rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, the police pepper spray their asses and throw them in jail.
So wipe that smile off your face you goddamned Matt & Kim-loving, ostrich-living, reality-leaving jerkwad. Nobody wants to hear about your stupid party. Or about how we’re all going to be happy when we find someone to love us. Even the Bieber fans know that’s just a fantasy. But they’re 11, they’re supposed to be optimistic. Anyone over 21 years of age who thinks they have a bright future is either obscenely wealthy, or a moron.
A couple of years ago, either of those qualities would have made you likely to be a featured buzz band on some blissful blog. But it looks like young people are starting to wise up. At the very least, they’re starting to get pissed off. And it only makes sense that music made by young people will shift to reflect a new era of riots and protest. Which comes as a relief to this writer. Seriously, if I saw one more hands-in-the-air, unironic party-in-the-USA, get-high-and-live-forever, pastel-colored band come strolling down the pike, I was going to go shave my head, buy a pair of sensible shoes, and start wearing Gotye T-shirts — like Adam Duritz, I’m sure that gray is his favorite color (and yes, I just Americanized the spelling of three out of the last five words of that sentence).
Well thankfully, Kitchen’s Floor (I know the apostrophe is stupid, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt) is here to give us a much-needed dose of reality. It’s more of a defeated shrug than a passionate rage, but that’s okay with me. It comes wrapped in the one of the best insouciant shouts you’re ever going to hear.
KF takes nothing for granted. There is nothing escapist, mystical, or blankly comforting in their music. It’s anthemic, but not in an Arcade Fire sense. That band’s music is about 5% struggle and 95% chest-beating triumph. KF inverts that ratio, to spectacular effect. They know that the beauty exists in the effort, that perseverance in the face of hopelessness can be its own kind of victory.
And they have the best vocal sound I’ve heard all year, with slurred lyrcs because what’s the point of enunciating when nobody’s going to bother listening. And even if they did, nobody ever understands each other anyway, always interpreting what you say through their own narrow prism of experience. We live in a time when everyone thinks they’re an expert. And if you can’t convince a conservative that evolution is real, or that climate change actually exists — ideas that can be objectively proven as facts — then how are you going to convince the person you love that the terror and anxiety you experience on a daily basis — feelings that are totally internal and subjective — is palpable and real? Better to retreat into yourself, to give nothing away. It’s safer.
In this sense, KF embodies the experience of most people in their early to mid-twenties. ‘Regrets’ sounds drunk and unfocused, well-read yet barely articulate, profoundly furious and desperately in need of a map. There’s something very early 90s in the way the album straddles the line between fighting to the death and walking away. Barlow, Cobain, Westerburg, et al would be very proud.
Kitchen’s Floor excites me. Whether you’re someone who has retreated into their fanatic camp to watch the world destroy itself through greed, or you’re someone who has taken to the streets to try and change things for the better, this music belongs on your stereo. As the next generation cries bullshit on the world they have inherited, Look Forward To Nothing is the sound of 2011. Hell, the way things are going it might even be the sound of 2012 as well.