Ketamine Kow – Shoe Shopping

Posted: 5 December 2022 in Singles and EPs
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Warren Records

Christopher Nosnibor

On witnessing Hull band Ketamine Kow playing live low on the bill supporting Mannequin Death Squad a little while ago, I found myself feeling exhilarated and fully charged by the raw energy of the performance and 100% sold on their punk energy, and I wrote as much after the fact. So it’s nice to see my enthusiastic comments repeated in the press release for their new single, ‘Shoe Shopping’, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

A nervous, but soft jangling guitar yields to a welter of everything going off all at once and at a hundred miles an hour and they charge headlong into a raucous blast of driving alternative rock that channels post-punk and grunge as much as it does classic vintage punk, while Adam Stainforth rants about uncomfortable shoes.

If that sounds like facetious fluff, it’s far from it, and Stainforth’s explanation of the song’s subject matter shows a depth and reflection that may not be immediately apparent based on first impressions:

“The song battles with the idea of gender identity being a lot like a pair of shoes,” he says. If you have a good comfortable well-fitting pair, then you don’t think about it and as you walk about you aren’t constantly thinking about your shoes and their comfort. But if your shoes are too small, or there’s a pebble in them, it’s all you can think about. Every step is annoying and you don’t want to do anything else until you fix the problem and your shoes stop hurting. So, I think in that sense most people probably can’t conceptualise the feeling of their gender well, because it just fits right and always has – and therefore it’s hard to imagine how all the small, normal things just constantly feel wrong, even if you are alone in your home.”

Put simply, there’s more than just all-out attack happening here, although the full-throttle, furious delivery is, unquestionably, a major draw. With the momentum they’ve built – and the speed at which they’ve gained it – this year, 2023 is looking like being a stormer for Ketamine Kow.

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