There’s a new Kurt Baker Combo album on the horizon. ‘Let’s Go Wild’ explores some new territory for the singer-songwriter and his band, moving further away from the usual power pop tropes and deeper into garage rock. For those who love it rough and ready but still crave a big hook, the album serves up more than enough gems.
Kurt Baker is a very prolific musician and songwriter. In the six year stretch between 2012 and Easter 2018, whether solo or part of a band, he’s released the equivalent of at least two albums per year. Against the odds, most of the material has been great.
Relocating from the US to Spain in 2013, Kurt formed the Kurt Baker Combo, a band who would ultimately inject a little more of a garage rock ethic into his gift for a power pop hook. Their first record, 2016’s ‘In Orbit’, was a little fuzzier than expected and took a bit more getting into than any of Baker’s earlier works, but still carried great choruses and a fiery energy throughout. Working to a similar formula, the Combo’s 2018 record ‘Let’s Go Wild!’, if anything, is even fuzzier. Given the rate Baker has released records, it was only a matter of time before one of his albums showed a couple of flaws. This is that record. In terms of production, some of the shinier power pop elements are absorbed by dense guitars and a world of vocal filters that sometimes make the material a little more difficult to process.
In May 2018, the Kurt Baker Combo will release ‘Let’s Go Wild’, their follow up to 2016’s ‘In Orbit’.
In the lead up to the album launch, the band are embarking on a European tour. All confirmed dates are listed below.
03/03/2018 Lazkao, Oker Taberna, Spain
11/03/2018 Madrid, Delia Records, Spain
18/04/2018 Montpellier, Secret Place, France
19/04/2018 Lyon, Trokson, France
20/04/2018 Besancon, L’U, France
21/04/2018 Stuttgart, Kellerclub, Germany (w/ The Fleshtones)
22/04/2018 Bern, Rössli, Switzerland (w/ The Fleshtones)
24/04/2018 Köln, Sonic Ballroom, Germany (w/ The Fleshtones)
25/04/2018 Chemnitz, Subway to Peter, Germany
27/04/2018 Wilhelmshaven, Kling Klang, Germany (w/ The Fleshtones)
28/04/2018 tba, Germany
30/04/2018 Frankfurt, Feinstaub, Germany
26/05/2018 Madrid, Sala Sol, Spain “LET’S GO WILD RELEASE PARTY”
01/06/2018 Albi, Jour de Fête, France
Whether solo, playing as a member of the Kurt Baker Combo or a key member of Spanish pop-punkers Bullet Proof Lovers, something that comes across on pretty much any Kurt Baker recording is how much joy he gets just from playing music for the love of it. He’s also frighteningly prolific. If he’s not sweating it out at live shows, he’s in the studio. If he’s not in the studio, he’s writing. Obviously, with such a frantic recording artist, not everything makes the final cut of an album, but Baker is never content with leaving things on the shelf.
Kurt Baker is the very definition of “cult hero”. He’s played in various bands since the 90s and been a very active member of both the punk and power pop scenes. He knows most of your punk heroes personally…and yet, chances are, many of you will still be unfamiliar with his work. In July 2017, Kurt completed his first UK tour in several years, promoting the Kurt Baker Combo’s first studio release ‘In Orbit’. Real Gone met him at his Brighton stop for various drinks and a lengthy chat. Nothing was taken down formally. It was decided that upon Kurt’s return to Spain, we ought to get something on record for posterity, since the visit was an important one in his ongoing musical journey.