Early on their album Turbio, Kah sing an ode to “The Doom Generation,” which samples audio from the 1995 Gregg Araki movie of the same name. Yes, Kah are on a retro trip here, but (contrary to what their cinematographic references might tell you) they’re not quite stuck in the past.
A guitar-driven foursome from Buenos Aires, Kah was initially an acoustic duo featuring just Mailén Gayoso and Julieta Ruíz. Some time later they were joined by Vicki Mortola and Rocío Alem to help pump up their music. Turbio is their first full-length album (which was preceded by an EP), but it shows a level of masterful songwriting not often seen so early in a career.
There are a lot of influences in the band’s music, all with guitars front and center. At times, their music resembles the clangy chords and jittery rhythms of post-punk, while in other moments they evoke energetic groups like Sleater-Kinney or Le Tigre, save for the electroclash influences. Sometimes, their music steers to prettier, more elaborate melodies. Tracks like “Pure,” for example, give us a ton of energy, while “Lenny (Tu quoque fili mil!)” flirts with twee aesthetics without turning into honey sludge, like most artists who try to venture into musical sentimentality. Impressively, they are consistent through Turbio. While their songwriting is definitely strong, defining a style of their own should be the next item on their list; something that should come with time.
Music this uncomplicated, fun, energetic, and cute demands your attention in the best possible way. No matter what era Kah are trying to channel, that’s a timeless sentiment.