Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Smoking in Heaven

by Katy Ledger Rating:5.5 Release Date:2011-05-30

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a family three-piece of multi-instrumentalists trying to keep the golden age alive. These purveyors of all things vintage raid the musical genres of the 40s and 50s, finding inspiration in R&B, jazz, jump blues, rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and ska; rejecting anything that comes after 1965, they even choose to record on vintage equipment in their home studio, giving their records that authentic vinyl warmth and crackle.

The siblings take turns on singing duties and constantly swap instruments to create songs which are faithful to the eras that inspire them and although this produces some easy listening and foot-tapping moments, it's also the most fundamental flaw of the album. If I want to listen to something resembling good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, I'd just listen to some good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, not some, albeit talented kids recreating it in their home studio.

Their self-titled debut in 2008 consisted of covers so Smoking In Heaven is the band's first self-penned album, although no one would blame you for thinking it was another covers album. The tunes, though pleasant enough, stick to the traditions of the genres they aim to revive. The Durham family bring nothing new to the table; there're no contemporary additions, lyrics are simple and formulaic and as the band flit from genre to genre it's pretty clear that Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are simulating other peoples sounds in the hope that they find theirs.

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