I wonder if the residents of 93 Ravensbury Road, London SW18 know that at one time it was how you got to contact Kitchens of Distinction. That’s the address scrawled on the back of their very first, self -financed single and one that seems to have been overlooked amongst their many other fine songs, not even appearing on the excellent compilation overview of their career, ‘Capsule: The Best Of KOD.’ It may be because it is a raw artefact and has not yet acquired the lush sheen of later songs. Or perhaps it’s because usual singer, Patrick Fitzgerald, barely has a role to play here, neither singing nor playing the bass (he was evidently unable to learn the bassline in time for the recording). As a result, guitarist, Julian Swales, takes over both vocal and bass duties.
The song begins with guitar feedback, reminiscent of The Gang of Four, before a Bunnymen bassline (‘Over the Wall’?) kicks in followed by drums and a guitar riff which demonstrates Julian hasn’t had his birthday yet and got round to unpacking the effects pedals which would dominate KOD’s LPs. Even if the instrumentation had been polished to a sheen, it is highly unlikely the single would have garnered mass radio play with a lyric that begins, “When I lie on my deathbed / I am not afraid / I will cry for what I think.” As the song progresses and speeds up, it reminds me very much of Talking Heads circa ‘More Songs About Buildings And Food’ (in particular ‘Thankyou For Sending Me An Angel’). The final minute and a half of the song is a guitar wigout which substitutes hard bashing of the guitar for the usual effects found on KOD’s records.
This is clearly the work of a band finding their own voice, their own place in the world. They wear their influences (and they’re bloody good influences) with pride and have not even unleashed their secret weapons of Patrick Fitzgerald’s voice combined with the spectacular guitar effects that would become their very own sound. Kitchens of Distinction are on the brink here of becoming a band of distinction.