Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 16, 2008
After more than a decade together, plus two LPs and assorted EPs, Kissinger has assembled its most convincing work to date. The proceeds from winning the Austin Music Foundation's Incubator Award were used to bring in producers Phillip Broussard Jr. (Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Andy Sharp (Blue October, Sheryl Crow), and Underwater finds the local quartet at its crunchiest. Guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist Chopper has mellowed a bit with age; his melodies, though, remain full of right angles. Kissinger's sound continues to brandish clean lines, so the Cars reference still holds. Yet songs like the appropriately animated "Racist Fcker," the candid attitude of "Rock & Roll Ain't Cheap," and the clamor and shake of "The Valley" are appetizing slabs of fuzz pop. What Kissinger brings is nothing new, but when done with their uncontained verve and spiky humor, it's a sound that never grows old.