What’s in a name? The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and music. The question is; does a name influence the personality, temperament and sound of a band? And what would you expect Kieran And The Iguanas to sound like anyway?
Born in Bournemouth from the sound of a saxophone, tambourine, a guitar, and some bongos, Kieran And The Iguanas have been refining their style and playing a number of successful gigs in venues around London including: Wilmingrton Arms, The Half Moon and the Finsbury.
The band have been in the studio to record a number of eclectic, melancholy sounding tracks, from “To Deteriorate” and “I Have No Legs” to “Cold Shoulder” and “Jesus Christ,” among others. Whether delivering pensive tirades, gospel hymns, classic covers, torch songs or upbeat pop dittos, Keiran and The Iguanas absolve themselves with irony, midst their seemingly twisted mix, of tortured acoustic sounds.
Strangely however, it is their most recent release, the cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” that distinguishes them from the commercial and mainstream-seeking, rat-pack of self-proclaimed indie bands. Kieran And The Iguanas‘ treatment of the song, composed by Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellote and Donna Summer herself, is what I’d call ‘a total reversal process’. Considering that the 1977 release came at a time when most disco recordings were backed by acoustic orchestras. Giorgio Moroder’s innovative production of “I Feel Love,” was recorded with entirely synthesized backing tracks.
According to David Bowie, at the time when the song was released, Brian Eno came running into the studios where they were recording and said; “I have heard the sound of the future.” He put on “I Feel Love,” by Donna Summer, exclaiming; “This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.” Well it actually did and was influential in the development of dance and techno music.
“I Feel Love,” has been covered on numerous occasions by none other than, Bronski Beat, Kylie Minogue, The New Deal, Curved, Madonna and even the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on their 2004 “Live In Hyde Park” album.
Now The Iguanas have grabbed that very same song and revolutionized it’s sound, by taking it into the opposite direction, or rather, back to where it came from. The acoustic era! Genius, pretentious or just downright silly? You decide. One man’s refuse is another man’s gold.
The one thing that comes to my mind, is that while others are desperately struggling to sell-out their sound, to the highest bidder, Kieran And The Iguanas refuse to compromise, while blazing a new trail of audible ambrosia. That alone deserves respect.
Listening to the other tracks by Kieran And The Iguanas, I get the impression that the band tackle fierce questions in a very personal way. Themes that would probably elicit unthoughtful power ballads or incoherent pop slop from other artists, instead pullout some great pieces of music from these guys. Their songs are balanced but yearning, often clever and understated, yet at the same time overwhelming.
Once you understand Kieran And The Iguanas views on life, the world, people and God, you’ll become wrapped into their sound. Their bizarre world will invade your own, sinking its beautiful but deadly claws into your very consciousness. This, friends, is not music meant to be taken lightly. A little dose of deviating genius takes a lot of getting used to!
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