Kaiser Architekt - 'Spies Like Me' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 03:40

spies300Just who is the mysterious femme fatale known as Doctor 11? Four men dressed in trilbies and sharp suits have been given the unenviable task of surveillance on this internationally known criminal mastermind. The Kaiser and his cohorts Mr Web, Mr. Smith and Mr. Lynch collectively known as Kaiser Architekt are the good guys chasing the bad guys and 'Spies Like Me' is the first aural documentation of their on going mission.


To add to the intrigue of the band so they don't blow their cover and in an effort to protect the innocent, the names have been changed. Seriously folks, it's a concept album based around '60s spy films and TV shows and why not.


What we have here is a total of 11 missions (or songs as we music lovers may call them), spy themed tracks of music the band like to call 'Espionage Pop Rock' and who am I to argue with that description. In keeping with the theme of the whole Architekt Organisation it seems fitting that the missions should be listed below, deciphered from cryptic code that is easy to understand in an attempt to thwart the evil Doctor 11's plans of world domination. So read, memorise the information and destroy when finished.


Mission 1 - 'Playing With Dynamite' pumps bass and a good old tinkling of the ivories through the speakers, an upbeat yet gentle opener that immediately bring to mind Squeeze and is that a hint of Billy Idol in Mr. Web's crooned vocals?


Mission 2 - 'Bulletproof' follows to a similar beat and sees vocalist Mr Web reeling off lists of all the tools and gadgets at his disposal. The likes of laser cuff-links, armoured shoes, short-wave radio and C4, all the things that a professional '60s spy should have hidden within the pockets of his trench coat, oh yeah and it's put to some mighty fine pop rock too.


Mission 3 - 'Supersonic (Covering Fire)' has Mr Web waxing lyrical about his girl. It is set to a more indie style beat, mixing up the upbeat pop melodies of Squeeze with early nineties Indie shoegazers and a good dose of power pop style vocal harmonies, nice.


Mission 4 - 'Another World' is filled with sweet vocal harmonies reminding me of a more quirky sounding version of The Posies which can't be a bad thing.


Mission 5 - 'Crush' comes on like a bit of a dated sounding '80s radio hit to be honest, 'nuff said.


Mission 6 - 'Kuryakin' comes on all trippy and lush, with lazy effect laden backing vocals and the ever present piano.


Mission 7 - 'International (Average Joe)' has them suddenly sounding like Paul Simon to these ears.


Mission 8 - 'Collateral Damage' again beats to the same drum with some great harmony vocals making the song a winner.


Mission 9 - 'Voodoo Wriggly' with its Indie beats is more The Stone Roses or The Soup Dragons than anything else with some more tripped out weirdness going on.


Mission 10 - 'Dissident' has a darker fell to it, with a bank of synths as its background.


Mission 11 - 'DNA001' closes the album with a piano led instrumental.


Kaiser Architekt are firmly planted in the '60s theme-wise, yet their music certainly takes in different decades of pop rock music altogether. A definite commercial pop feel going on in places, partly helped (or should that be hindered) by the suspected drum machine use and worryingly reminding me of an '80s period Genesis at times, but don't let that put you off, there is more cool things going on to discover with nods to Crowded House and Squeeze for starters.


The biggest criticism from me is that all the songs flow along to the same beat and all seem to blend in together. There is no light and shade, no up or down, it's all on the same level feel-wise, beat-wise and energy-wise. Could this be the Kaiser's downfall and lead to the domination of Doctor 11? Who knows but maybe you should investigate further.




To pick up your copy of 'Spies Like Me' - CLICK HERE