Kitchens of Distinction

A band that all at once sounds like an amalgam of everything familiar and a completely singular, tightly-wrapped package. Tonally, they've much in common with dream-pop acts, particularly those of the flintier breed, like Ride and Lush, but there's more square rock (no jangle!) and college radio intellectualist bravado at play. The frontman, Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation), sings with a deliberate bluntness and frankness—and a touch of vibrato—that makes him easy to compare to Michael Stipe, but these guys don't exactly sound like R.E.M. otherwise.

I'm getting ahead of myself a bit, though! Who're we talking about here? Kitchens of Distinction, of course! A One Little Indian band that formed in the late 80s, drifted apart after LP4, in '94, and reunited in 2012 for a new album, some touring, a comp.

There's also some Echo & the Bunnymen in there. That rigid, blocky, galloping beat—no swing!—that's adorned with bright, restless rhythm guitar and vox that jumps around erratically, fitfully.

With their fourth album, difficulties they'd been struggling with—middling success, pushback from their label—came to a head, and its lack of sales, both in the U.K. and the U.S., didn't much help matters. Resultantly, they got dropped by One Little Indian, though they managed to put out a final single, "Feel My Genie" on Fierce Panda, before calling it a day.

Afterward, Fitzgerald started a poppier, peppier project called Fruit, which featured Miki Berenyi from Lush and Isabel Monteiro from Drugstore on a few tracks, and recorded some really heavy, ethereal stuff as Lost Girls with Heidi Berry.

Sometimes, Kitchens would perform as Toilets of Destruction.

British Sea Power must love these guys.


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