Young Kato are the Haircut 100 of the 2010s. For those who don’t remember 80s pop, the Haircuts popped up early in that decade and scored a handful of hits. They released an immaculate pop album that was, as radio stations like to say, the sound of summer. They’re an under-rated band, mainly because while they wrote excellent pop tunes they looked like presenters from children’s television on a day out — nice knitted jumpers and sensible haircuts.
Disturbingly, Young Kato’s Wikipedia photo has them wearing jumpers, and while they’re more cutting edge than H100 their pop is still rooted in the late 80s / 90s (“I’ll take you back to 93 / We can use my time machine,” goes one lyric).
Track one, Sunshine, opens the album with a sound that’s right out of the Haircut songbook, complete with echoey saxophone. And they have whistling.
We reckon one of their dads was a Haircuts / 90s pop fan, while the band themselves listened to short-lived Manchester band Wu Lyf, whose tribal sound crops up throughout the album, not least track two Drink Dance Play.
That’s pretty much how the album rolls, a mix of retro pop and cool groovy new stuff.
It’s a pleasant album that we’ve got to like a lot after repeated plays — it’s catchy, summery pop. Try Sunshine, Children Of The Stars or Lights.