What’s in a genre? Technically speaking, quite a lot of a music I guess. But ultimately genre’s seem to be increasingly artificial labels that often fail to do justice to the scope of a band’s sound. That is particularly true of today’s band: Kodaline. Their eponymous debut EP is one of the pretty schizophrenic. It begs the question of just what an EP should try to achieve as a a record; should it be a cogent, flowing whole? Or should it attempt to showcase all the facets of a bands sound, even if that results in four seemingly random tracks?
Ultimately it’s more a question of a quality. If a band is capable of crafting a set of excellent yet diverse tracks, then they should, particularly on an EP. This is pretty challenging though, it’s far easier to focus on a narrower sound at a higher quality. Kodaline should be congratulated on not doing this, but instead having the courage to explore the musical spectrum. Admittedly, there is a variation in quality amongst the four tracks. But, they’re all good, and all point to exciting routes down which the band could travel. They could choose to focus on the epic sound of All I Want, the psychedelic Lose Your Mind or the cosy Perfect World.
Kodaline are an Irish quartet. They grew up in what must be one of the coolest named towns ever; Sword. This small town on the outskirts of Dublin airport was where Mark (guitarist) and Steve (lead singer) met at the tender age of eight. They’ve been making music since. It is the security that familiarity often breeds that perhaps encourages them to produce such varied tracks. That and the fact they share song writing duties, which is inevitably going to lead to a diversity that is at times discontinuous. The EP doesn’t flow. Lose Your Mind is woozy and trance like, littered with interruptions, yet somehow polished. It follows the sharp-edged and immediate anthem that is All I Want. Pray is a despairing tale of heartbreak and love lost. It’s melancholic introspection could not be further removed from the (unsurprisingly) jovial Perfect World. It’s a pleasant enough note on which to finish the EP, but it feels a little shallow. Such is the nature of the Kodaline EP, there are moments of inspiration, moments of mediocrity, and everything in-between. Which of those moments they choose to expand upon will undoubtedly define how much of their future we hear about.