Last year’s ‘how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway’, and in particular its Joy Division-indebted title track, marked KennyHoopla out as a name to watch. ‘SURVIVORS GUILT’ goes one further; it cements him as one of 2021’s most exciting. From the first snippet of collaboration between him and Travis Barker, November’s ‘estella//’, it was clear something was afoot. And it’s not just that the blink-182 drummer is using his not inconsiderable platform to direct rock’s gaze towards the newcomer: his signature pummelling here creates the kind of pace and challenge that keeps both Kenny - and the listener - on their toes to exhilarating effect. The release’s finest moment comes with ‘hollywood sucks//’, a slice of the purest pop-punk with a witty chorus to boot: “Can you please move your Prius / You are not fucking Jesus / And he hates LA”. There’s ‘turn back time//’, with all the carefree abandon of adolescence, and the kind of shoutalong chorus that’s begging for a festival appearance. Similarly, if there’s a number begging for a mid-afternoon Reading & Leeds spot than ‘smoke break//’, we’ll eat our Vans. The mixtape runs the gamut, too: the title track is ferocious, with hardcore screams to boot, in contrast to the melancholic - but with a killer call-and-response chorus - ‘inside heaven’s mouth, there is a sweet tooth//’. A head-rush of a collection in the best possible way, whoever paired this duo up deserves a medal.
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