Children of the 80s all
have strong memories of the cold war and the constant looming threat of nuclear
war – it left an indelible mark on our collective psyche. As the planet sits on
the edge of political, environmental, and social disaster, we experience daily
the emotions we felt as children, but with the unfortunate weight of real
knowledge of the depth of the problem. Both KOOK albums I and II are part of
the same original concept… an exploration of literal and psychological
The last surviving members of the human race are leaving Earth after a cataclysmic event… as members of a religious cult in regular contact with aliens, our heroes knew what was coming and tried to warn the rest of the world. Ultimately, their warning was ignored, they were the only people to escape a dying planet. Are they a group of deranged cult members experiencing a psychotic break, or is this all really happening? Is there a difference? Inspired by classic science fiction (Philip K Dick chief among influences) and insane real-world events (like Heaven’s Gate cult), the goal is to explore how human beings cope with the painful reality of modern existence in a world constantly on the brink.
As much as the artwork and story are tethered, the music of both albums is woven together as well. The first song “Escape Velocity” starts with the final riff that closes out the ‘I’ record. KOOK already has the start of their third record written, which begins exactly where the final song on this record “Chased by Monsters” leaves off. This is a story that hasn’t ended yet.
KOOK ‘II’ –
Vinyl, CD, Cass., Digital on March 26th Exclusively at Bandcamp:
01. Escape Velocity
03. Left Behind
04. Human Container
05. Frequency 8
06. Chased by Monsters
(Releases on all other streaming outlets on April 30th)
KOOK ‘II’ was tracked in February 2018 (with additional vocal recording in May 2018) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA. Legendary engineer and producer Billy Anderson caught KOOK at their last Portland live show, and approached them to say he’d like to produce their second album. They, of course, jumped at the chance to work with a man who has produced some of the greatest heavy records of all time (Sleep, Neurosis, the Melvins, Mr. Bungle, and many more), and still works with vital bands to produce amazing music.
Primary tracks were laid down over five straight days, with Chris Hughes (the engineer for the ‘I’ record) assisting Billy. Very magical moments happened in that studio…strange alchemy and spirits which resulted in this record. Once Billy wrapped up production, it was handed off to his regular mastering collaborator Justin Weis at Trackworx in San Francisco.
The front cover was created by Indonesian artist Alfi Andy who has done work for Mothership, Dunable Guitars, Sargent Thunderhoof, Great Electric Quest, Child, and more. Looking for artists who could dig deep into an early sci-fi comic aesthetic to reinterpret Adam Burke’s cover for KOOK’s first record from a different angle, in a different style. The result shows the refugees from the exploding Earth inside the belly of the spaceship that just barely appears in the background of Burke’s painting. The lyrical and musical content of the album is about dealing with the range of emotions at a moment like this…shock, relief, fear, profound sadness, confusion, a deep sense of loss…and uncertainty… what comes next?
KOOK was founded in September 2015, in San Jose, California by long-time members of San Jose’s storied heavy rock and metal scene that started in the late 80s. The influences are many: from classic blues, rock-and-roll, stoner / doom / sludge, to goth, new wave, and everything in between. KOOK members have shared stages with legendary San Jose bands like Sleep, Dear Deceased, and Operator Generator. Guitarist Karl Larson was in the starting lineup of what is now High on Fire with Matt Pike, George Rice, and Des Kensel. Besides HOF, the band is made up of former members of Sin City/Motorfly, KLANK, Kill Sister Kill, Imperial Spacepod, Kinabra, and The Stumps.
The music of KOOK is rich, complicated, hypnotic, dark, spooky, trippy, sleazy, powerful, groovy, campy, heavy, and loud. It’s all in our genes, but the resulting sound and songs have been difficult to describe. Upon listening to the masters of our new record, Nik Carlson of the Omaha, NE band Super Moon said: “It’s like a weird drug baby of Red Fang, early QOTSA, meets some Candlemass and some other shit that I can’t really place.” We don’t know if he’s right, but we’ll take it.
About KOOK’s ‘I’ album:
“You should take that name for everything it implies. KooK is a wild, whimsical mix of freewheeling riffs, unhinged vocals, and sweet, sweet bluesy doom.” ~ Doomed and Stoned
“‘Who does KOOK sound like’ you might ask? That is a question that is hard to answer, KOOK ultimately, sound like KOOK, and that is a rare thing these days for a band to have so many familiar qualities yet sound completely different from everything else out there. Maybe it’s a conspiracy, maybe it’s a cult movement, maybe they’ve come to steal your mind!” ~ The Ripple Effect
“Kook has an eccentric take on music; with their tastes from blues, rockabilly, and stoner rock you could imagine what comes forth is something truly out of the ordinary. And it is, Kook is something interesting and unique in execution… Not only is it a fantastically written fusion of rockabilly and metal, it’s fun as hell.” ~ Metal Assault
– Full 6-panel fold-out of entire interior cover art.
|“Eye Of Gold” Edition Vinyl – 150 pcs|
– Gatefold cover, Orange/Yellow half & half with purple, blue, black heavy splatter
KOOK ‘II’ – Vinyl, CD, Cass., Digital on March 26th Exclusively at Bandcamp:
(Releases on all other streaming outlets on April 30th)
“World’s End” Edition Vinyl – 50 pcs
Deluxe LP package includes:
– Foil-stamped gatefold cover only available with “World’s End” version
– Purple & blue A-side/B-side vinyl with gold, red, green heavy splatter
– Seven prints of alternate cover art by Nick Fox (cover piece will be 22×11, other sizes will vary)
– One embroidered logo patch in album colors