Nonstop To Cairo is a New York-based band known for their unique blend of punk, hip-hop, funk, and ska music. The band’s lineup consists of August “ASH” Harris on vocals, Nick Diamond on guitar and vocals, Alex Turner on drums and vocals, and Ed Nevin on bass guitar. Their upcoming LP, titled KAI, is a tribute to their former member Kevin Anand Itwaru, who passed away tragically just before the album was recorded.
The album title is derived from Itwaru’s initials, and it serves as a celebration of his life and the musical vision that he shared with the band. KAI is Nonstop To Cairo’s sophomore album, following their debut release, Dabble Heavy, in 2015. The album explores a range of themes, including the highs and lows of life, music, loss, and the importance of connection in the face of adversity. The band members have stated that KAI is a project that was deeply influenced by their grief over Itwaru’s passing, but it is also a celebration of his life and the impact that he had on their music. The album is set to be released in May.
After giving this a listen, I must say Nonstop To Cairo is a band that has something truly special going on. Their music is a perfect fusion of punk, hip-hop, funk, and ska, and they have managed to take this challenging task to the next level. These guys have completely perfected the art of blending different genres, and their sound is both fresh and nostalgic. As a listener, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem, with a sound that takes you back to the mid-90s punk rock scene but also feels unique and innovative.
“Awkward Situations” kicks off the album with an unexpected twist, opening with a dreamy soundscape that quickly gives way to a hard-hitting track. The opening seconds of the song may lull you into a false sense of security, but before you know it, the band ramps up the energy and intensity, taking you from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds. This is an excellent way to start the album, as it instantly grabs your attention and sets the tone for what’s to come. The Song is a powerful and dynamic track that showcases the band’s talent and sets the stage for what promises to be an engaging listening experience.
Following the explosive opener, “T.I.A” slows things down a bit with a more relaxed tempo. The horn section takes center stage in this track, adding a layer of richness and depth to the music. I think one of the standout features of “T.I.A” is the small but aggressive guitar riff, which adds a nice edge to the otherwise laid-back track.
“Pope Funk” offers a funky twist to the album, with a great grove and lively rhythm that will get your head nodding. The song showcases the band’s versatility in their ability to create different moods and sounds throughout the album. The chorus is memorable and adds a catchy element to the track, contrasting with the energetic verses. The percussion on this song is a highlight for me.
The album takes a slight departure from the previous tracks with “Not Today,” featuring Blaque Alex. The song opens with some mellow horns. The track is a refreshing change of pace with it’s placement on the album for the overall flow, with a slower tempo and introspective lyrics. The harmonies are a standout feature on this track, giving it a soulful and emotional richness. The chorus is simple and relatable, capturing the feeling of not wanting to deal with life’s struggles and not letting it effect you, at least, for a day.
When I first heard “Million Dollar Space,” it immediately grabbed my attention and left a lasting impression on me. It was the first song I had ever heard from the band, and even without listening to the full album at that point, I knew that this was going to be a special band. It was then when I saw that band had a unique sound and style that blends different genres in a seamless and captivating way.
Overall the song is a testament to the band’s creative abilities and unique vision that they were able to craft such a memorable and distinctive track. And as I listened to the rest of the album, my initial impression was confirmed – every song on the album is great and showcases the band’s incredible talent and versatility. That’s not an overstatement either. Every track is fantastic, and I’ll be adding every song to my main playlist upon release.
After listening to KAI, I am left thoroughly impressed. The band’s ability to blend different genres that I love such as punk, hip-hop, funk, and ska into a cohesive sound is remarkable. I mean, it’s not simple task to throw in so much to a mix, and they have nailed it. Each song on the album is unique in its own way, but they all flow together perfectly.
One aspect that really stood out to me was the lyrics and songwriting ability of the band. It’s creative and thought provoking. This is a fantastic album, and I’m now a major fan of this band and cannot wait to see what they have in store for the future.