REVIEW: “Be Your Friend” — The special Valentine’s release is the latest single from Hoboken’s own Karyn Kuhl Band
By Jack Silbert
In Hoboken, we have two things to be very thankful for this Valentine’s Day. First, CupidCon has never really caught on here in town, which I imagine would involve drunken yutzes in diapers roaming the streets with bows and arrows. And second, there’s a brand-new single from local heroes the Karyn Kuhl Band. We haven’t heard any fresh music from the group in more than a year and a half, when they released the EP The Stars Will Bring You Home. So this new song is a rockin’ reason to celebrate.
“Be Your Friend” borrows its title from the dreaded candy heart which literally places you in the Friend Zone. But Kuhl has — wink, wink — other motives. Drummer Jonpaul Pantozzi and bassist Lou Ciarlo kick things off with a slinky groove, and then a twangy guitar courtesy of James Mastro says hello. (Mastro also produced the track, which was recorded and mixed by Hoboken’s Tom Beaujour at Nuthouse Recordings.) In a sultrier vocal than we’re accustomed to hearing from Kuhl, she calms, cajoles, and entices a potential partner. Before the would-be lover knows what’s happening, Karyn seamlessly transitions into her rock voice, and you best believe she’s not taking any prisoners.
After Kuhl’s concise, garage-y guitar solo 90 seconds in, she wants to take us higher via energetic talk-singing. And in the, um, extended climax, the band explodes into Technicolor glory. Being Karyn Kuhl’s friend definitely has benefits.
“Be Your Friend” can be purchased on Karyn Kuhl’s bandcamp page. For information on upcoming performances, follow the band on Facebook.