Rhythm & Views

Kirby Krackle

Named after a visual effect pioneered by comics legend Jack Kirby, Seattle's Kirby Krackle is the musical brainchild of singer/songwriter Kyle Stevens and co-lyricist Jim Demonakos. With full-on rock arrangements, the band (with Stevens performing all instruments, including drums) specializes in pop-culture-savvy pop tunes, tackling everything from video games to superheroes to zombie flicks.

On first spin, the novelty of Kirby Krackle seems better- suited for the convention circuit than a discriminating CD collection. However, repeated listens reveal accomplished songcraft that will reward anyone wishing Weezer's Rivers Cuomo would return to writing about D&D.

Geek-love ballad "Naked Wii" takes gaming into carnal territory with lyrics like, "I'll treasure all the time we share / in Bowser's lair." The power-pop of "Marvelous Girls" focuses on femmes from a certain comics company (Marvel), with Stevens asking a lady in Dr. Doom's kingdom what it's like to be "subjugated to a madman with no face," and if her, um, border is "still patrolled by Doombots."

"Another New Crisis" takes a humorous, horn-enriched swipe at the comics industry's efforts to boost sales with epic storylines across multiple titles: "Events are getting out of hand / I'd kill for a one-shot on the stands." And "Zombie Apocalypse" stands as the ultimate ukulele-powered undead ditty: "It's hard to watch The Daily Show / over all the cries and screams."

Grab a Slurpee, and dig into Kirby Krackle, True Believer! (Available via iTunes, DigStation and CDBaby.com.)

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