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Here’s a refreshing local take on the guitar/drums duo with Sydneysiders guitarist Luke Koteras hooking up with pianist and percussionist Byron Mark not to cut an albums worth of raw, searing blues-soaked dialogues but a few soft funk/R&B-tinged pop songs that owe more to Steely Dan or even Craig David than Sleepy John Estes. The other twist in the Kinetic Method take is the fact that Mark eschews the drum kit for flamenco’s core percussion instrument, the cajon, essentially a wooden box from which he manages to extract some pretty impressive sounds, along with the djembe, again without a hint of world music/Afrobeat, and a variety of percussion bits and bobs. Throw in his subtle jazz/Latin-tinged piano embellishments and you’re already a world away from The White Stripes or The Fumes. Many of you will have seen him performing in any one of his other incarnations, The Bakery and Van Sereno most prominently. The latter also co-wrote one tune on this album, Too Good, with Koteras.
Koteras’ voice also sits at the sweeter end of the spectrum, like a cross between the aforementioned (minus AutoTune) David, most obviously in the way the he tackles the J&B Banton-composed Feeling You, a track that also gives Mark a chance to stretch out a little on the keys, and, say, Lior. It is beautifully matched by his caressing yet virtuosic acoustic playing, itself particularly showcased in this album’s three instrumental tracks. Koteras’ admiration meanwhile for another acoustic guitar virtuoso, Tommy Emmanuel, is evident in the construction of two of those instrumentals, Ardeleigh Road and the closing track Ambush II.
16th November, 2010 (Drum Media, Issue 1035)