Kyle Kinane I Liked His Old Stuff Better
Published Jan 27, 2015In February 2014, Kyle Kinane tweeted this:
If NWA rapped about hating the post office instead of the police department, I'd be Eazy Motherfuckin E.— Kyle Kinane (@kylekinane) February 18, 2014
This was a hint. All of the bits on his grand, personal, exasperated new album are titled after N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, in the exact same sequence as that record. It's a pretty pointed joke (and hopefully not some iTunes glitch I'm experiencing), possibly an open aspiration to have his material impact the world in the same way that landmark hip-hop LP did, opening everyone's eyes to a whole other world. Kinane's world. (Ed's note: Titles now appear as "This Track Is Not Called..." preceding the N.W.A.-inspired original.)
"This Track Is Not Called Fuck tha Police" is an amazing story about how Kinane wound up doing an interview for Hustler, and so his proud parents spent a day desperately trying to buy a copy of the issue, which Kinane spins into gold about befuddled store clerks, pondering these friendly, earnest perverts.
Kinane is baffled that print copies of pornography still exist when it only recently became passé to make jokes about how the internet is full of nothing but simulated sex.
"Maybe it's for a new version of hipster that's over vinyl and really into analog porn now," Kinane wonders, crafting this sharp contemporary allegory. "Just some dude going, 'It just has such warmer tones to it. There's a subtlety to it that digital's just never gonna capture. Plus it's just so nice to hold something in your hand, to feel the weight of it, it's great.'"
On "If It Ain't Ruff," he recalls saying 'Bless you' to a cat after it sneezed and the anecdote becomes this heavy, intricate philosophical parable that Kinane weaves together like some kind of storytelling wizard. With shades of Monty Python absurdity it's poetically crafted and has this silly, spiritual heft that resonates.
The emotional core of the record arrives with "Parental Discretion Iz Advised," "8 Ball," and "Something Like That," where Kinane talks about aging and the perspective it brings via a tale about getting drunk and painfully falling out of the shower. To clarify, he says he had his iTunes on shuffle (it mostly spit out Motörhead and the Commodores) and that his beer guzzling in the shower represents a personal spa day he was having. Things become introspective; his life and the choices he made throughout it basically flashed before his eyes in that fall. We hear a lot about his worldview and it's compelling and hilarious.
Kinane has always tapped into a certain self-aware rage and here, like Patton Oswalt or yes, N.W.A., the beauty and power of his work is bolstered by how he commands and moulds anger into something universally relatable. He's gruff and blunt yet endearingly folksy and trustworthy — key qualities for the masterful storyteller/"Dopeman" he is. (Comedy Central)