The first thing that strikes me when I listen to any Australian rock band, are the vocals. Ever since the 80’s when I fell in love with bands like Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl and Midnight Oil, the one key factor, over and above the music itself that made these groups so endearing, was the voices that powered their songs.
I’m not sure if it’s something special Australians either eat or drink, but there seems to be an uncanny amount of Aussie rock singers with vocal ranges that are nothing short of mind-blowing.
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Add this to the fact that Australian musicians seem to be endowed with an automatic built-in sense of rhythm and harmony, and you have music with a melodious approach, catchy choruses, driving (but never overblown) guitars, a kick-ass bass and drum engine room and an overall smooth, sleek sound that is hard to resist.
A perfect balance of rock, pop and alternative styles, with a usually staggering, charismatic vocal performance from a towering front man.
The Incredible Kicks is yet another Australian band who continues this successful Aussie rock dynasty, by perfectly representing the above description, and Travis Hair on lead vocals and guitar, comfortably slips into the “towering front man” role, with absolute ease.
The Incredible Kicks are a 3-man outfit from Brisbane. Travis Hair handles lead vocals, guitar and keyboards. Luis Bran covers bass and vocals. While Josh Griffin keeps time on drums and vocals.
Their music style resides somewhere between Cold Chisel, Silverchair and Queen, which is like saying they resemble a letter somewhere between A and Z.
The band is capable of quickly changing styles,sound and tempo (and often do!) within the same song. Listen to ‘Fairytale’ with it’s hard-rock guitar intro, The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody-like” vocals, the poppy rhythm riff interludes and the machine-gun drum breaks delivered by Josh, to get just a tiny insight as to how intensely The Incredible Kicks arrange their songs. Their sound is total.
Every aspect of the instruments contributes greatly to the bands sleek driving rock sound.
First and foremost vocalist Travis Hair, whose presence is so powerful throughout the songs. You can tell the man is an immense talent. His passionate singing in ‘All Right’ and frantic bellowing in the almost romantic new-wave sounding ‘Not On Me’ is perfect evidence of this.
Also not to be underestimated, is Travis’ guitar playing. Which is tasteful, powerful and never overly intrusive within a music genre that is generally a predestinated victim of the electric guitar hero.
Luis Bran’s dynamic, stomping bass lines and clean plucking are also fundamental in establishing the band’s sound, as is drummer Josh Griffin’s solid, creative and consistent drumming.
The cherry on top of all this beautifully controlled music mayhem, is definitely the vocal arrangements and harmonies.
The Incredible Kicks stand head-and-shoulders above many of their musical counterparts, primarily because they deliver top quality vocal arrangements in industrial quantities.
This is a trait very hard to find amongst many indie bands. Often we come across bands who write great songs and deliver fantastic musical interpretations, but fall horribly short in the vocal department, sensibly complicating their road to commercial success.
This is not the case with The Incredible Kicks, who can proudly brandish this as one of their strong points.
The bands smooth transitions from song to song is evident on their EP “Fairytales”. Packed with memorable tunes, there’s hardly a song that could be considered a filler. But there sure are the obvious highlights.
‘Delicate Romance’ captures the bands authentic versatility and musicianship, with continuous tempo changes and building chorus lines. While ‘Your Way’ adds a more dramatic, passionate sense to the EP. ‘All Right’ sounds like a classic Queen song with its powerful vocal harmonies, ever-changing musical arrangement, clever drum hooks and elusive acoustic undertones. The rest of the album magic, is conjured up with uplifting guitar riffs and inspirational lyrics.
The Incredible Kicks are currently working on their brand new album ‘Ineffective Lullabies’ which should be ready for release mid-July. While they also have a new single out entitled ‘Any Excuse’.
If you like your rock tinged with great vocals and powerfully creative arrangements, you can grab their album ‘Fairytales’ on iTunes from here.
Or just head straight over to The Incredible Kicks homepage now.