Album: Just My Luck
Release: May 27, 2015
Our take: “Stream it”
If there’s one thing that draws musicians to the Chicago music scene it’s the opportunity to release music in an expansive, yet intimate setting. In an interview with his other band, Kangaroo frontman Devon Press told Ghost Track he came here from New York because of the ease to book and play shows, while also making friends in the process. With members Andy Dow, Ross Tasch, and Joel Cornelius, Kangaroo capture the DIY spirit of playing music with the main goal of having fun in their latest Just My Luck.
The five-song EP opens with “Get Down,” which ends up being the best song off of the release. Heavy-hitting drums preface the distorted and delayed guitar, and the surfy guitar solos complement the heart-felt lyrics. The message of the song is one that most rock musicians already relate to: Forget about that cute girl with a boyfriend and that you wasted all of your money on your vices and just get down.
Kangaroo don’t let up on the fuzz and delay throughout the album. In the third song, “In My Bones,” the song picks up its dynamics with even heavier distorted guitar. Catchy gang vocals kick in as the song continues with it’s driving guitar line. This song is mostly all build up, with moments of harmonizing guitar solos.
If there was one thing that Kangaroo could have done differently, it would be to shorten their songs. This becomes evident in the closing track “It’s Always Saturday on Mars.” The seven-minute track has the catchiest line that speaks to all music lovers, calling them to just focus on the sound. It’s not an easy thing to invoke participation in your lyrics; one way to do so is by using relatable lyrics over a simple melody. Kangaroo does this several times throughout the release, but these moments are diluted by the epic nature of some of their songs.
The second song on the EP (“Up to You”) is a perfect example of how listeners should have been left wanting more. Falling just shy of three minutes, it’s their shortest effort on the EP, but it’s also their fastest paced. Kangaroo should have made this the model for the length and pace of the EP as a whole.
Though the songs may run a bit long, you should not be dettered from listening to this album. Kangaroo perfectly captures the garage rock feel with surfy guitar licks and catchy vocals. As mentioned before, it’s not easy to create songs that easily stick in the minds of its audience, and Kangaroo achieves that throughout Just My Luck.
You can check out Kangaroo’s music here. Check back for when Just My Luck is released digitally on their site and give it a listen.