Arriving in today’s post, it took less than 3 minutes from opening the jiffy bag to pressing play – and then I was re-living a wonderful evening in North Greenwich, when I had first witnessed Mel Sanson and the newly reformed Kenelis play some of the tracks from this new EP.
Mel’s writing merged with the band’s music continues to move from strength to strength, this is a band that deserves to be heard. The lyrics are very much heart-felt and reflect a strong-minded and determined personality. This collection of songs is edgy and challenging with an undercurrent of justifiable anger at the maltreatment of those who dare to stand out by refusing to let themselves be bullied into following the latest trends. ‘GFY’, the acronymically titled opening track pretty much sums up the EP’s attitude, Kenelis are a band determined to forge their own path – and if anybody doesn’t like it, well that’s just tough! Kenelis play excellent, passionate and exciting ROCK music – never mind any more specific genre classification – no ‘bells and whistles’ just vocals, two guitars, bass and drums.
‘Moving To Brighton’ opens with a slight respite from the audio onslaught and offers some autobiographical insights into Mel’s views regarding her current home base. Kai Smith’s wonderfully skilled and atmospheric guitar work is a joy and adds an extra dimension, whilst Ryan Holt’s drumming is a masterclass in tribal/rock fusion, all underpinned by Tristen Hall’s powerful bass playing.
Next to follow is the anthemic ‘Don’t Kill My Rock’ which highlights the massive importance that music can have in keeping people focussed on life’s important things. Much as I have a prefernce for smaller more intimate venues, I really can picture this being played to a massive arena crowd and would be very happy to be part of the audience.
Finally, ‘Open Your Eyes’ revisits a clear dissatisfaction with inequality, abuse of power and unfair treatment.
Jesse Thomas’ cover artwork is stunning and quite rightly gets credit for being ‘absolutely ass-kicking’, getting music digitally is fine but a well-packaged piece of art like this EP will always be far superior (imho).
Mel has always been quick to recognise the importance of fans and the liner credits also include a mention of the on-line community support that has been so loyal to Kenelis over the years.
My one slight disappointment is the lack of ‘Boots’, at one point I believe this had been considered for inclusion but sadly not there. Nevermind it gives me an opportunity to plug the live version recorded at that gig in IndigO2 earlier this year – it’s an absolutely inspired cover version of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ – check it out, you won’t regret it.
Some ‘useless trivia’ now: few months back I included a ‘fantasy festival’ feature in my show, there was no particular order of priority but I did include one option where the audience were located on boats in front of the Thames Barrier where the stage had been constructed – the band that I had imagined as headlining that particular gig was Kenelis and they would have opened with one of their earlier songs ‘We Could Die Any Minute. Hurry up and get a hold of a copy and play it often – release date is 7th December, which gives you a fortnight to enjoy it before the end of the world on 21st!
2/ Moving To Brighton
3/ Don’t Kill My Rock
4/ Open Your Eyes
5/ GFY (Radio Edit)