The Kickliner are described as a pair of “bookish lads from Derby”. So if earnest, hand-wringing indie rock is what you’re expecting, you won’t be disappointed. ‘The Kickliner EP’ is the second EP from the duo.
There’s a huge difference between the opening brace of songs. Whereas for ’17th Floor’, the drama and tension is maintained from beginning to end, ‘Amsterdam’ is gentle and lilting. Then ‘Emilies Room’ balances pretty jangling with angst-filled outpourings. ‘Seventeen’ is definitely single-worthy, thanks largely to its ringing guitar melody and a rousing chorus but the finale ‘This Is A Gift’ is a slightly drippy indie pop number which should be subtitled “for ladies only”.
On the face of it, The Kickliner offer little that is new. Added to that, the mix is a bit muddy and the singer sounds like he’s suffering from a winter cold. Yet there’s something undeniably charming about these songs, which may be lo-fi and insular in terms of production but the songwriting has the potential to reach out to wider audiences.