A longitudinal study of Kaki King

Kaki King

Several years ago, Kaki King used Everybody Loves You to unveil an idiosyncratic and highly unorthodox guitar technique based in part on two-hand fretboard tapping. That record came out right around the time I started focusing on two-hand tapping in my own music, which is probably why I latched on so quickly, but it certainly didn’t hurt that the tunes were gorgeous in addition to being difficult.

Her next couple releases were pretty frustrating for me, though, because she seemed to be deliberately moving away from the techniques I’d initially found so interesting. I halfheartedly tried to dance around all that when I interviewed her in 2006, but she shared some concerns about becoming one-dimensional which definitely informed my review of last year’s Dreaming Of Revenge, in which I complained that she was apparently more concerned with making her records different than with making them good.

One of her curveballs just hit the strike zone, though. Her new Mexican Teenagers EP, which I just reviewed for PopMatters, is full of excellent and thoroughly assertive heavy rock, all electric guitar and drums and vicious attack formations that I’d never have expected her to even attempt, let alone succeed with. Now I can’t wait to see what’s next.