I will never be a big fan of cover bands. Granted the mainstream masses love to go to a bar and drink while a band plays the same tired hits that they have been hearing on the radio for years. Respect goes out to the bands that try to make the songs their own with different arrangements and textures but talented musicians should strive to write their own material and share that with audiences. Our latest find Kava, started as a cover band but has now made the turn to innovative music of their own.
The Chicago threesome originally met while forming AfroZep, a national touring act that fuses African influences into Led Zeppelin covers. The chemistry was there immediately and the men knew there was more music inside of them. They took a weekend trip to a secluded cabin together to experiment with new sounds. The result was 20 hours of recordings and a new band being formed that has come to be known as Kava.
After numerous shows (often completely improvised) and a few studio EPs, this past summer Kava released their first full length album entitled Shikaakwa. The seven track record explores some odd time signatures, evil grooves, and mind melting drones. The opener “Keep It Alive” begins with a sound I find hard to explain other than comparing it to Alien speak. It quickly evolves into a full on progressive rock song with elements taken from all over the musical map. This makes for a good introduction to what the listener is about to experience. The trippy “While You Were, We Decided Not To” is a throwback to the esoteric sounds of 70’s psych rock with its dark and spacey feel. Your brain will enter a state of warped relaxation here. The minimalist jam of “Mila Vs. Milos” leaves plenty of air between the sounds for the mind to add its own texture. The sparse vocals will add to the meditation feel. Album closer “Staring Into Fire” acts as a wake up for the listener that has been lulled into a relaxed state. This is powerful blues rock music taken from the vein of their Led Zeppelin beginnings. The listener will leave refreshed and invigorated. When you are ready for a full on mind altering experience through music go enter the world of Kava at: http://kavatheband.com/