KUKL: The Eye: CD & Holiday in Europe (The Noughty Nought): CD

Never been a fan of Bjork, but always kind of wanted to hear Kukl, her pre-SugarCubes band, as they were on Crass and that was a recommendation of sorts. Now I can, because it’s reissued. 1984’s The Eye is about what I expected: super-effected, Cure-esque guitar, arrhythmic percussion, gothic touches like donging bells, all presided over by Bjork’s grating caterwaul. The next year’s Holiday in Europe, however, makes considerable gains in terms of non-irritation: Bjork’s vocals are reigned in somewhat, the drumming shaped up, and the incidental noise fleshed out satisfyingly, giving the whole thing a tone that’s more regulated and more ethereal at the same time, like they stepped up from being pretend-weird to being actual-weird. That said, though, you’re not likely to catch me listening to Kukl again any time soon; just because it ain’t bad don’t make it good.

 –doug (One Little Indian)