If someone told me I had less than three minutes to get really pumped up, my choice of song would be between Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and Kapitals’ “Kerosene.” This song is explosive from the start, and its intensity only grows stronger in time. Singer Evan Dempsey’s howling vocal performance and the band’s tasteful use of overdrive awaken a strong likeness to the indie rockers of the early aughts. For years we’ve been waiting for Europe’s response to The Strokes, and Ireland has finally delivered a worthy candidate: Kapitals keep the sonic fury of bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, adding their own twists with catchy melodies and fresh lyrics.
I say “fresh lyrics,” but I can understand less than half of them. After spending at least five minutes trying to make out the song’s opening verse, I gave up. Dempsey is not one for complete enunciation, but sparse moments of coherence display an appealing edginess as he sings a tale of sexual deviance: “What’s the repercussion? I want to know if it’s better with the lights on.” Is the song’s title a reference to kerosene lamps, or is “Kerosene” a fuel for something else?
I’ve put in a request for the lyrics (which are not currently available online) and hope to hear back from the band soon. In the meantime, I’m keeping “Kerosene” on repeat. Kapitals’ performance is tight, loud, and powerful. This infectiously addictive song is provides exactly the kind of pump-up, jolt of caffeine to the ear needed to jumpstart the mind and body. “Kerosene” is itself, in a sense, a sort of kerosene.
If only I knew the words, then I would sing along!
Watch: “Kerosene” – Kapitals
Check out Kapitals online here!