SEATTLE (UPI)—A hot recording by what listeners describe as a hip new alternative band was discovered yesterday by the staff of a local radio station, exciting numerous area music listeners.
The recording in question, Double Platinum, by an unknown group identified only by the one-word, monosyllabic name KISS, was rushed to a nearby stereo where it underwent intense listening and scru-tiny by knowledgeable disc jockeys, many of whom have subscriptions to hip, al-ternative music magazines like Alternative Press, Spin, Op-tion and Rolling Stone.
The recording was found by DJ Josh Negler while rummaging through K-ALT’s vast library of recordings for his “Alternative A.M.” radio show. Negler, 27, has been an intense fan and expert on alternative rock for over 18 months.
“The CD player was down, so I had to find some vinyl,” Negler says. “I never thought I’d uncover such an unknown treasure, which I knew was alternative right away, as soon as I saw the silvery reflective packaging.”
While none of the station staff was able to exactly categorize the new and innovative sound of the double-album set, it was described as “heavy, kind of like Nine Inch Nails, with hard power-chord guitars like Pearl Jam and an almost industrial high-tempo rhythm like Tool or Filter.”
Songs such as “Strutter,” “Deuce” and “Detroit Rock City” were positively identified as “alternative.”
“Yeah, they don’t sound anything like Hole, Beck, Bush, Spore, Sponge, Tad, Ride, Clutch, Scrawl, Slint, Schtum, Lync, Gren, Seam, Dis, Dig, Mule, Gaunt, Az, Hum or Pram, but the band does have a one word, monosyllabic, name like Hole, Beck, Bush, Spore, Sponge, Tad, Ride, Clutch, Scrawl, Slint, Schtum, Lync, Gren, Seam, Dis, Dig, Mule, Gaunt, Az, Hum and Pram,” music writer Jordan Kohan says. “So they gotta be alternative like Hole, Beck, Bush, Spore, Sponge, Tad, Ride, Clutch, Scrawl, Slint, Schtum, Lync, Gren, Seam, Dis, Dig, Mule, Gaunt, Az, Hum and Pram.”
So impressed was Negler with KISS’s raw talent that he is considering asking KISS to play at the K-ALT’s “Punka-palooza 1996,” an all-ages benefit that has highlighted the best in new and unsigned bands with one-word, monosyllabic names since 1993.
Further evidence of KISS’s alternative stature was offered by rock critic Howard Frankel, who points to the band’s use of theatrics and costumes.
“Much like seminal no-wavers the Resi-dents and Devo, KISS’s gestalt is a deconstructivist take on the extravagance and excess of rock and roll and the insanity of stardom,” Frankel explains. “By encompassing a per-sonae in the guise of the exact rock establishment they are mocking, via the use of absurd amplification and standard verse/chorus/verse arrangements, their worldview only be-comes more salient and biting.”
Furthermore, Frankel ex-plained that the band’s choice of the antiquated vinyl format (or LP) gives the disc a “retro” sensibility matching the ’70s nostalgia sound prevalent in many tracks.
“In fact, KISS has so marvelously captured the retro look and feel that one can almost imagine the record being released 20 years ago,” Frankel says.
Excitement escalated af-ter DJ Heather Luken stumbled across a series of solo recordings re-leased by the members of the band—a pattern remarkably similar to a series of albums released by the Melvins, a seminal Seattle band in the late ’80s.
“One’s by the star guy, another’s by the cat guy, another’s by the rock guy and another’s by that devil guy,” Luken says. “I like the cat guy.”