EP REVIEW: Young Kato “Young Kato”

It has been said that guitar pop is dead. It has also been said that the anthem is a thing of the past. However, Young Kato’s eponymous debut EP disproves both of the aforementioned status. Having been dubbed the indie One Direction, there is no denying that the young troupe are easy on the eye, but these boys can sure as heck compose riotously warm romps. Opening with lead single, the instant youth anthem “Drink, Dance, Play”, it is clear that these boys are social observers who know how to appeal to both the trendies and the pop kids.

While “Drink, Dance, Play” is easily the most instant and radio friendly of Young Kato’s debut offering, there is much more to the sextet than the single would imply. “Break Out” sees the boys head into an indie-folk terrain, with a stirring vocal that is reminiscent of Stornoway’s Brian Briggs. “Break Out” is musical bliss, from it’s whirling opening through to it’s sing-along climax. “Life’s Good” bridges the gap between the opening two numbers, and though not as instantly memorable, it grows with every listen and brews into the album standout.

Closing with The Editors meets The Killers, Young Kato deliver the brooding “Revolution”, a number which signifies everything that Young Kato symbolise. Young Kato are not following the trend, they make music that they love and they sound bloody good doing so. They may not fit in with the current mould, but then why should they? Good music was never about following the trend and it never will be. Young Kato are set to be massive. Just you wait and see.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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The Kaje talks establishing motives to Young Kato

Young Kato are a six-piece from Cheltenham who are set to become the band of their generation. Every so often the music scene needs shaking up, then a band springs up taking the lead from those that went before, but delivering it with their own style and swagger. Young Kato do exactly that. While their influences may be worn on their plush sleeves, they channel their creative spark into a new mould. Though they will be the recipients of comparisons to everyone from The Horrors to The Maccabees, The Arctic Monkeys to Pulp and Foals to The Smiths, we predict that Young Kato will be so big by the turn of 2013, that the need for comparison will fade by the time you finish listening to debut single “Drink, Dance, Play”. Luckily it appears that guitarist Jack Edwards has similar dreams and ambitions..
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So we know you are a six piece and you are from Cheltenham, but tell us a little bit more about how Young Kato came to be… How did you settle on the name Young Kato?
We didn’t! 2 of the 6 band members were totally against the name but after a week of brainstorming and only have one or two people liking the names being suggested, 4 out of 6 was quite good! I suppose being such a big band doesnt make it easy when it comes to things like that… So many of us to please!
Who brings what influences to the table?
We are all into bands such as Foals, The Maccabees, Friendly Fires, Dog is Dead, The Vaccines etc but then we all have other influences. For example, Tom (vocals) is into his 80s stuff… the likes of Duran Duran and The Smiths. Harry (keyboard) loves his jazz and often listens to Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman and Hiromi. I’m also into the slightly heavier side of the current Pop/Rock scene – Bands such as Twin Atlantic and Deaf Havana, so we get quite a wide spread of influence that probably comes through in our music.
As with all newcomers your sound is being compared to those that have gone before… What have been the best and worst comparisons you have heard?
The best comparision we’ve heard I think was “They’re like One Direction meets Arctic Monkeys, meets Morrisey”, another being “The Smiths with attitude” which was quite cool. Worst one would have to be “A cheap Two Door Cinema Club”, which was pretty bad.
If you had to draw your own comparisons-who would they be with and why?
I’d probably say The Killers with a hint of Morrisey and U2 because people have described our songs having “massive chorus’, and “lighters in the air” verses similar to that of an arena band sound. People also often comment on Tom’s Vocals saying “he sounds like Morrissey”.
You are about to release your debut EP-you have opted for the self-titled route.. Why?
Simply just an introduction to our music, we feel having the name directly alongside the music gets people knowing what we’re all about – we are Young Kato and this is our music.
Can you tell us a bit more about each of the four tracks…
Without giving too much away…
TRACK 1, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ – A vibrant, youthful track showing off our bands energy. This song has always been the fan favourite with chants and stage invasions.
TRACK 2, ‘Break Out’ – Lyrically this is our strongest song as we co-wrote with Chelt born Ian Dench (EMF). Yet again a song with energy and a song that we connect to, as we sing/shout about breaking away from our daily routines of college/school/work.
TRACK 3, ‘Life’s Good’ – An upbeat love song that simply tells her that life is what you make of it, its time to stop moping around and get on with it.
TRACK, 4 ‘Revolution’ – Predominantly the bands favourtie song, another co-write – this time with Gordon Mills Jnr. A great bloke who works with lots of up and coming bands/artists including Ed Sheeran. The lyrics are strong, surreal and honest and rounds off our EP perfectly as we feel even though we wrote and recorded it in a day we feel we have found our sound.
How did you know which tracks were worthy of being on your introductory EP?
All four of the tracks have a big pop sound which is youthful and upbeat we felt the first release needed to be happy so that everyone can relate to them, not soleum and miserable like many songs around at present.
How did you select “Drink, Dance, Play” as the lead single?
There are so many “indie” guitar bands out there at the moment and we feel “Drink, Dance, Play” play has a completely different vibe to anything else. The combined factor of it’s uniqueness, the joyful vibe and the raw fact we are not ashamed to admit were making pop music the way it should be are the reasons we’ve chosen it as the single.
What hopes do you have for the single?
We’re not hoping to conquer the world for starters (even though that would be nice), after all it is our first release. We just hope it can raise awareness of the band and our name, then hopefully we can go from strength to strength after its release.
With the EP all set to be unleashed, are you looking forward to a life on the road?
Most definitely, the best part of being in a band is playing shows – what could be better than playing shows every night for weeks in a row, going to places
we’ve never been and meeting new people who all have a huge passion for live music? So yeah, really looking forward to it!
Where in the world would you most like to play?
I can’t speak for the whole band, but myself I’d love to play in Japan. I love how music acts as a worldwide language, it doesn’t even need to be literally translated for people to enjoy it or relate to it.
If you could define one ambition that you’d like to achieve by the turn of 2013, what would it be?
Have Album No.1 completed and ready to tour.
Lastly, complete this sentence Young Kato are set to be….
The new era of pop music.
Interview by Jeremy Williams
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