Although recorded before and during the pandemic, and a rumination on the passing of leader Scott Milligan’s mother, Kitten Pyramid’s second album, 2021’s Koozy!!, perfectly captured the optimism of a fresh start. This exuberant follow-up continues the ensemble’s purple patch.
The Burton-Upon-Trent-based art-pop collective (whose line-up ranges from two to 20 members) have many touchstones musically yet continue to defy classification. Kiddo – which comes with a similarly named film – explores animal rights; it’s intelligent, eclectic pop that deserves full attention. Roadhog is a tender, message-heavy, festive pastoral ballad against meat-eating, while Jalapeños explores a future world where the last remaining meat eaters are shot by herbivores who fire the titular peppers from their guns. It starts like pomp, ends like a Britpop ballad, and once the children’s choir come in, there’s not a dry eye in the house.
Like their two previous albums, Kiddo courses with ideas and defies pigeonholing, and, with its added anti-meat militancy and signature theatricality, it’s an adventure from start to finish.