Friday, November 02, 2007

Kling Klang, Barfly, Glasgow, Saturday 27th October 2007

From the ranks of vintage synthesizers crowding the stage, to the flared red corduroy trousers of the band's de facto leader Joe McLaughlin (not to mention his more than passing resemblance to Neil from the Young Ones), there's something decidedly retro about Liverpool's Kling Klang. Taking their name from that of Kraftwerk's private music studio (and also the opening track on the album 'Kraftwerk 2'), the band wear their krautrock influences unashamedly on their sleeve. Kling Klang's debt to genre pioneers Kraftwerk extends further than mere nomenclature however, as their sound is strongly reminiscent of the repetitive groove-led krautrock jams that were the staple of early Kraftwerk. Simple repeated synthesizer lines are the driving force behind Kling Klang's vocal-less music, with the three synth players accompanied by Ali MacDonald's suitably motorik live drumming and McLaughlin occasionally switching to guitar to augment the analogue electronics with heavy guitar riffing to beef up the more "rock" moments. While the repetitive simplicity of their sound is often the band's strongest suit and is arguably their very raison d'ĂȘtre, it unfortunately feels like a weakness tonight, as, not helped by a lack of punch to the sound quality, it seems as if the band are treading water. The performance lacks the propulsive energy and dynamics needed to really drive the grooves along and transcend mere head-nodding rhythmic intensity and preservation of the original krautrock spirit and allow Kling Klang to create a truly original and necessary sound of their own.

Kling Klang