Sunday, 21 April 2013

#86: Introducing...The Koniac Net

Bombay based and philosophically named, The Koniac Net cite a wide array of bands as their influences. From Deftones to Credence Clearwater Revival, Tool and Manchester Orchestra it’s clear that each of the five members bring something radically different to the table. Although the band started life as singer David Abraham’s solo project/homage to his influences, numerous requests to tour internationally allowed his solo project to become the fully realised entity it is today.

While Abraham’s first solo record was an ‘ode to…’ 90s alternative. The inclusion of a full band has breathed new life in to a nostalgic formula. While tracks such as ‘Maggie (A Song for Brad) brings to mind bands like Marcy Playground, ultimately the songs here have a lot more ambition and optimism about them. There’s no Kurt Cobain-esque self-deprecation, no Frank Black/Black Francis bile-tinged cynicism just an open message declaring that yes, at times life might look bleak but there’s always tomorrow.

Having a list of influences as comprehensive as that listed by The Koniac Net often leads to a disjointed feel to a bands repertoire. That isn’t the case here. From tracks like ‘Aesthetic and the Withdrawal’ that sound indicative of the Oasis/Beatles to the atmospheric shoe-gaze of ‘Demure’ which is slightly reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie in it’s use of both synth and reverb.Perhaps the title of the band’s most immediately accessible song belongs to ‘This Time Around’, in which a fairly clean production marks a departure from the fuzz of the band’s earlier records. A clean and yet chunky guitar drives the song for the most part with Abraham’s subtle vocal part getting lost behind it on more than one occasion. Credit where it’s due, however, as with ‘This Time Around’, Abraham et al have crafted their most radio-friendly song in their catalogue; even though there are still slight moments of 90s angst that inevitably seep through the cracks in the songs veneer, it’s still at it’s heart, a well-written pop song that’s sure to find a place with a wider audience.

The Koniac Net are a band who are dragging 90s nostalgia kicking and screaming in to the contemporary. While their songs might lack the same repressed aggression that many bands of that era harboured those with their foot planted most firmly in the past are entirely indebted to bands that didn’t need to crank the distortion and smash a drum kit. Everclear, Built to Spill even at times The Goo Goo Dolls, while not implicitly noticeable upon first listen, elements of these bands and more, permeate the songs and slowly reveal themselves. Whilst nothing here is going to break any boundaries, it’s a welcome relief to hear the optimistic side of 90s Alternative represented so warmly.