August 17, 2010

(Kitchens Of Distinction - or KOD for short or even Kitchens OD)

Sometimes timing is everything. Kitchens of Distinction came about in 1986 and were classified as a sort of Alternative/Dream Pop band. Named after a company that specialized in Kitchen and plumbing fixtures, Kitchens of Distinction eventually shortened their name to KOD. But the modicum of success was about the same. The music scene was taking an abrupt turn (in the U.S. it was grunge and in the UK it was Shoegaze), while KOD, having initially anticipated the Shoegaze genre, was now on to other things. But more than that, it was what they were about that seemed to be a problem with the mainstream. Patrick Fitzgerald, KOD's vocals/guitar/bass player was responsible for writing most of the band's material, and he was openly gay. And when he wasn't openly promoting a gay lifestyle or killing Margaret Thatcher, his vocals were submerged in an ocean of guitars - so you couldn't really tell what he was singing about anyway. And that made for a subdued reception and certainly no reception here in the States, where they were signed to A&M.

They lasted until 1996 when they were dropped by both their U.S. label (A&M) and their UK Indie label (One Little Indian).

Despite all that, they were a good band and they were at the forefront (without them knowing it at the time) of a genre of music and style of instrumentation which became popular (oceans of guitars is probably an apt description) and influential even today. It's also important to note that, in a recent issue of Mojo Magazine, Love Is Hell (their first album) was considered one of the 100 best Indie albums Ever.

Tonight's track is off their Drive That Fast ep from 1990 (just prior to their signing with A&M), These Drinkers illustrates that wall of guitars and the somewhat non-descript lyrics people complained about. This track wasn't issued with the album, Strange Free World. Only the ep.

And why they were considered ahead of their time.

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