Kicker - Innit [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Innit [7-inch] (2011)


Kicker is a bay area supergroup of underground, underground legends, composed of Pete the Roadie (who's roadied for 30 years for bands including Fugazi, Chumbawamba*, Subhumans, Jello Biafra, et al), Mauz of Dystopia on guitar, Dave Ed of Neurosis on bass and Toby from Filth on drums. While the band save Pete come from the second and third waves of punk (more or less), they focus their sound on UK82-style smashing.

But, while that sound is reductive for a lot of bands, Kicker seems to excel for two reasons. First, the band injects some humor into their lyrics which acknowledges the rowdier side of old school punk without becoming cliche. "Wrong Things" features Pete acting his cheekiest, telling people that their babies are ugly, criticizing hipster art and shouting "Invite me to your dinner and I know I shouldn't be rude / But do I have to mention that I hate vegan food!"

Equally, the band plays a crisp, energetic version of GBH and UK Subs that due to its power, and slight variance, maintains a freshness. "Innit" has a thick, heavy rumbling that rocks along like a dump truck but has the speed of a muscle car. "Two Hats" deviates from standard three chord smashing into a brief, Neurosis-style space-metal before kicking back into the pounding.

Kicker isn't groundbreaking, and it would be easy to dismiss them if they weren't so good (and so damn funny.) Few bands balance humor and socio-politics like this. Punk hasn't aged gracefully, but maybe the indignities of age make it that much better.

*Oh, you didn't know that Chumbawamba used to be an anarcho-punk band? Minus 10 punk points for you, junior!