‘Cooties’ were once known as something you didn’t want to have as a child. The fictional disease and embarrassment that went hand in hand with love affairs as a child. The same feeling paired with light-heartedness comes from the San Diego band Kooties, an indie-pop and “kiwi” band that came together from the guitarist of Space Heat, and Field Trips collective co-founder, Ren Rogers. Living up to their self-proclaimed genre of sweet “kiwi” pop, their debut album, Yearbook, combines surf-pop, light melodies, and a feel good aura that can be pressed as a soundtrack for a sunny day, and would be the only type of ‘cooties’ you want to ever have.
If unfamiliar with Field Trips Collective, they are a self-started label in San Diego, which contain various SD artists within the same musical genre scheme, and some rotating members within different projects. Frank Mindingall (bass), Skylar Eppler (drums), Ren Rogers (guitar/vocals), and Jakob Mc Whinney (guitar/backup vocals) are the gentlemen that make up Kooties, and are familiar names within the Field Trips community. Their debut EP, Yearbook, in partnership with Bleeding Gold Records, now available, is one of four releases from the members of Field Trips Collective. Each song runs on average of two minutes, and are playful songs that are the epitome of just feeling good.
Starting off the EP, “Broken English,” which is an upbeat track, centralized around fun melodies and jangly guitars. Besides the easy-feel and surf rhythmic qualities that are exuded from this track, the loving factor is high; awkwardness that fill up the heart and the end result is “broken english.” Can we say aww? “Headhunter,” is sweeter indie-pop that tugs at your heart strings in the best way possible. Between the prominent guitars, barely heard is a warm bass, which is a delight to hear and I only wish that more could be heard.
A personal favorite, along with “Broken English,” and a somewhat different track, would be “Crush.” Still holding on to the dreamy surf pop, it’s more refined and softened with a female backup vocalist, which breaks this song away from others on the EP. It ends abruptly, possibly like a crush, and definitely is well planned for wanting more, since this track is about a minute and a half. “The projectionist” is an upbeat version that could be something Bright Eyes would produce, without the heavy depression. Even if lyrically it could be something heavy, the music has the ability to redirect the emotions. The last track to wrap up the album is “Anas Execution.” Another track that could stand alone, starting off with an acoustic guitar and slowly building to a louder indie-pop anthem, and once it has you hooked, it ends, also coming in a little over a minute.
Yearbook‘s approach is directed to the heart, along with the band itself, who also play with the listener’s emotion, besides lyrical content, but of the abrupt and shortness of their tracks. If broken down by the definition of a yearbook, Kooties interpretation and the result is an EP containing this collection of memories. Just like thoughts, which can be short lived, nostalgic transportation to the past, the shortness of the songs are a reflection; which pull on certain emotional areas and could be the perfect definition and the inspiration behind this indie-kiwi-pop EP.
Along with their music, swing by the Acerogami, tomorrow at 8, for their tape release show, in Pomona, along with Dabble, and Teenage Exorcists.