Friday, May 29, 2009

Kpants - Charmless (1994, Grinning Idiot)

Four kids, straight outta Eugene, Oregon...that for better or worse, didn't go particularly far. Background info is pretty limited on this troupe, save for a blurb I uncovered on this graying outpost of cyberspace:

Nu power pop, with liberal doses of R.E.M., Jonathan Richman, and total, stoned inspiration. Check out their album, Charmless, on Grinning Idiot, and pray they make it up here soon. Few do what they do better.

Hmm, not sure if I entirely espouse that assessment. Seems to me, Kpants (supposedly the "K" is silent) had their collective eyeball not on Athens, GA, but a little bit further to the northeast in Chapel Hill, NC, with Charmless' punkier inclinations ringing of Archers of Loaf, albeit more linear. There's some considerably hot moments here, mostly occurring in the initial portion of the disk. Charmless' penultimate cut, "Best Kissers" name-drops the likeminded Best Kissers in the World, another worthy study for the Wayback Machine if you get the opportunity. In short, Charmless is no masterstroke, but not without it's charms. 
01. Light Sprinkle
02. Bookworm
03. Forehead
04. She's Got You
05. Sonic Ripoff
06. Lunchpale
07. Pie Song
08. Stare Off
09. Ants
10. Should We Cut It?
11. Best Kissers


katiedid said...

God, I remember them! The name just killed us - it's from an old episode of The Chris Elliot Show, where he (an adult) enters a children's spelling bee, but gets tripped up because he keeps worrying he'll forget the "silent k" in pants. Hence, "kpants." I could have gone either way on their music at the time, but it was fantastic to see the word "kpants" plastered all over the local phone poles.

spavid said...

Cool. Mystery solved. Thanks katiedid!

The Power of Crystals said...

I loved this record and had the pleasure of seeing them live a few times, including at the famed Satyricon. I had just come out the hills 2 hours northeast of Eugene and these guys might as well have been the Rolling Stones as far as I was concerned. The Patsy Cline cover rocks!

Anonymous said...

I was friends with the singer and guitar player back when the band was active. They were nice guys. Grinning Idiot later released a 7" that was a new song called "Love" backed w/ a cover of Jonathan Richman's "Hospital" that was wonderful. I highly recommend tracking it down. They recorded a sophomore album that was lush and rich and really showed their growth as a band. Unfortunately, they split up before releasing it. Shame.
I have a tape of it somewhere.

sonofabobo2 said...

This is an album I go back to time and time again; still one of my favorites. I've seen them once at La Luna.
The Chris Eliot show was called Get A Life.
I'd love to get a copy of the 2nd album.
I wish they were still together; so so good!

Wry Bred said...

Jeremy from Kpants here--crazy what a Google search turns up! Anyone interested in that second album can DL it at

Some of our 7" singles can be DL'd there, too. Hope y'all enjoy!