Back in December of 2006 our very own Mark Hensch was singing the praises of the five rocking brothers of Koncrete Kite and their album, The Joy of Bee Stings. Fast forward to now and the band has just released their latest album, "Full of Bull," and to celebrate we asked Rich Bove to tell us about one of the tracks:
Of all the new songs to decipher for the reader, I could have gone with our new single, "Button Fly", and the self-aggrandizing that comes with being the band's preferred rockin' track for keg parties and spirited air guitar competitions
Or perhaps, the fan favorite, "Banana Bread", with its psychedelic, don't-eat-the-brown-acid, Beatle's nod to 60's peace, love, and dope smoking (or in this case, baked goodness)
But NO! I am singling out the darkest track this band has ever put out in 15 years. Taken from our latest release, FULL of BULL, the song "Pinky Swear" is based on several accounts of an out-of-work husband and father who decides the fate of his family in the most irrational way.
Although most of Koncrete Kite's other song lyrics can be deciphered various ways depending on the listener, "Pinky Swear" is as cut and dry as it can get: father loves son, father loves daughter, father can't support family anymore, family goes bye-bye.
When I initially wrote the lyrics to this song, it was in first person. I figured, what the Hell; if Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan and countless others can take on the role of a character and sing about their plight, why not us? Unfortunately, I am not the lead singer of this band, and when presented with the words, my brother Joe (who has graciously helmed the majority of vocals for this group) thought I was absolutely insane. "I'm not going to sing this. This is horrible. It would be a bad omen to me and my family!" is all I remembered before sulking away. Whether it was a case of "lead-singeritis" or against his moral compass, I was determined to get these lyrics recorded.
After a much heated debate - with cooler heads prevailing - we decided to compromise. The lyrics would retain the same meaning, but written in third person. Therefore, Joe would be absolved of singing any wrongdoing while I held onto the integrity of the theme. The lead vocals were cut in one take.
What makes this track morose are not just the words "First choice and a last kiss" but the guitar playing on it. Chris (aka Smokey Butts) is the bass player in the band, but does tackle guitar solo on a couple of tracks. On this song, we decided to go with something dirty-grungy, but yet melodic. Chris stepped up and laid down a solo that sounds like the afterbirth of a Neil Young Kurt Cobain offspring. Brilliant!
The coda for this song is what makes or breaks it for the listener. After the line, "Heaven in a heartbeat, swear we'll all live (on)", the band stops. A cacophony of feedback swells into a deranged symphony devoid of any structure. The only thing keeping this beautiful mess together is the 4/4 timing on the hi-hat and the four separate crashes of the cymbal. Each crash represents a gunshot blast. A song for our troubling times.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself with a free download and learn more about the album right here!