Words by Bryan Crawford

If you had any curiosities about what has been going on in Kentucky, I’ll reassure you, she’s still landlocked. It has however, recently developed a surprising rock scene.

In arguably the best brand of dichotomy since apples and aardvarks, Bowling Green group Sleeper Agent writes pop rock tunes that at one moment make you want to rock back and forth, arm in arm with your mates – and the next mash in someone’s, anyone’s face. On their debut album Celabrasion they do both quite effectively, perhaps no better evidenced than by strange bedfellows ‘Get Burned’ and ‘Some White Monster’. It’s fun stuff for the most part though, think more cafeteria kerfuffle than whiskey-fueled bar brawl. Songs like ‘Get it Daddy’ and ‘Proper Taste’ remind the listener of the type of epic summertime soundtrack one had back when occupying Wall Street sounded just a shade too serious.

By the second track ‘Force A Smile’– if you’re properly cruising with a cranked stereo – it’s tough not to crack a smile like that of your creepy Uncle Pete when the fuzz infused guitar hums and an angsty 18 year old girl yells “all I wanna do is lay with you.”

At 18, vocalist Alex Kandel is probably both uninterested and overwhelmed by the thought of being the subject of a Karen O comparison. But alongside the band’s solid rhythm section and pair of guitars it’s hard to undersell the group’s addicting party punk sound. As we’ve witnessed before, the sound of a city’s scene can transform into a national movement in no time. And they are not alone; their Kentucky friends Cage the Elephant have already proven there’s an audience for this type of good ol’ raucous and roll. We’ve not yet grown out of it.

White Rabbits
Sleeper Agent
Mom + Pop
© September 27, 2011



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