One of the most pleasant surprises in the first half of ’04 is the debut studio release by Madison’s the Kissers. Drawing equally from traditional Irish and American folk music as well as smarmy, melodic alternapop, they come across as an extension of (and perhaps a more focused) Boiled in Lead. With a bulk of their melodies emanating from instruments like fiddle, banjo, accordion and mandolin the folk component is duly addressed but the driving rhythm section and strategic electric guitar adornments affirms the modern rock affinities of this group. “69 Cadillac” is a prime example of the Kissers as a killer Blasters-styled rock & roll band while “American Folk Song” and “Scum of America” firmly places this band amongst the more clever and innovative of the modern folk-rock brigade. A thoroughly enjoyable recording FIRE IN THE BELLY rivals the eclectic recordings offered up by Reptile Palace Orchestra, (another Madison-based outfit) as some of the most original music emanating from the state of Wisconsin.
Review By Dave Sleger