Review by David Cirone
Drummer-vocalist Shihido Kavka’s Kavkanize pushes the singer and her drum kit to the front of the stage. It’s a rare combination among indies, and even less likely to grab the spotlight in a major label release. Kavkanize is a high-energy album and a great showcase for a truly talented performer.
Drums levels are sometimes mixed unnaturally high in order to remind the listener that Kavka’s working hard on those drums in addition to her vocals. Add to that the fact that the album is 16 songs long (it could have easily been complete at 10), and the overload feeling starts to set in. As a whole it feels like a bit heavy to take in in one listen, but thankfully there’s so much variety from song to song that you won’t regret the one-hour-plus running time.
Kavka herself is a fun personality, and the album has equal parts playful (“Love Corrida”), sultry (“Shinkaigyo”), and power-rocker (“Daydream Rider”).
Stripped down guitar and drums for “Engine” bring a solid pop groove, and an impressive vocal on “Gunjou” is made even more powerful by the song’s restraint. Her mix of jazz-rock with future-synth on “Hi Benai Tori” turns into something really unique.
Japanese rapper Dohzi-T (collaborator with Beni, Thelma Aoyama) guests on “The Outsiders” and “100-nen beer” throws us headfirst back to disco. There’s something new at every turn in Kavkanize and Shishido Kavka’s energy is infectious throughout.
Recommended tracks: Love Corrida, Engine, Gunjou, Daydream Rider