Kuroma Delivers Engaging Psych-Pop



Kuromarama Album Review

The path traveled by the creative foursome that comprise Kuroma is almost as unusual as the band’s peculiar name.

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Hank Sturdivant and James Richardson met at a Camp Carolina talent show, when they played together and stole the show as impossibly young eight years-olds. Since that fateful summer, they went their own ways, and then reunited in 2006 for the initial Kuroma album. Over the ensuing years, they’ve released three albums and seen the members play with bands like The Whigs and MGMT and tour with a slew of other notable Alt-Rock bands. Then, a few years ago, the duo completed their quartet when they joined forces with ex-members of Amazing Baby, Simon O’Connor and Will Berman.

The years on the road and exposure to successful, influential artists has paid off for the foursome, as their recently released third album, Kuromarama is an intriguing and welcome entry into the alternative rock scene. The music is a distinctive, alluring mix of styles they call psych-pop. It’s different than most anything on the airwaves today, but it’s a refreshing and bright kind of different.

As a whole, the album is packed with catchy songs, clever riffs and a casual comfortable feel. It’s probably a horrible analogy, but at times, I found myself nostalgically thinking of the psych pop stylings of the Monkees. It’s not Davy Jones and crew and their pseudo-rock, but the music still offered that same happy, feel-good, pop-laced vibe. The big difference on Kuromarama is the quality of the musicianship, which is top notch.

“20+ Centuries” is an invigorating track that gets the album off to a rollcking start. From their, the album boasts a nice diverse selection of songs. An early highlight is the sweet “Love Is On The Way” featuring some of the most diverse vocals on the album as well as a constantly evolving and creative musical foundation that reminded me a bit of the wonderfully creative music offered up by The Thorns a decade ago.

My favorite part of the album is the trio of strong closing tracks. “Case Logic” is a song that evolves masterfully, features invigorating guitar work, and an infectious beat. “30601” threw me for a loop the first time I heard it because it feels out of place on the album, but the country-tinged song is just fantastic and a joy to listen to. It’s also a nice bridge to the psych-powered finale “Thee Only Child.” It’s a strong close to an enjoyable album.

Check it out and sample the songs below. See if you agree that Kuromarama is perfectly suited to be pouring through your speakers on your next sunny day journey to the beach.

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