The Kissers

The Kissers

BandFolkPunk

Biography

The Kissers are known for the frenzied energy of their live shows, their off-kilter humor, and their eclectic instrumentation. Violin, banjo, accordion, and an array of sonic effects combine with diverse musical influences for a unique sound that straddles the gap between indie-rock and Irish music. Audiences and reviewers, trying to describe them, cite bands as varied as the Shins, Pogues, and the Decemberists. The Kissers maintain that they are rock musicians who learned to play Irish music, not vice versa, and so their music sometimes feels more at home in a club than in a pub.

Founded by Ken Fitzsimmons in 1998 The Kissers began playing their brand of Celtic rock at Madison, Wisconsin’s O’Cayz Corral—a Midwest haven for indie and punk music. After a 2 ½ year stint as the Monday night house band a fire destroyed the club, leaving The Kissers free to expand their horizons. The current lineup took shape over the following year, and the band began touring the country full time in June, 2004.

In 2003 the Kissers released their first full length album, Fire in the Belly. The 13 tracks document several years of songwriting, and the styles vary from the traditional sounding battle number American Folk Song to the alt-country freewheeling West Pacific. 69 Cadillac shows a musically heavier side to the band which they explore more in their second release, Good Fight.

Staying true to the show-time energy of The Kissers, they recorded Good Fight (2005) live in the studio in less than a week, and the result captures the talent and synergy of top notch musicians. The album has a louder, heavier tone than Fire in the Belly, but maintains the up-tempo excitement of its predecessor. The dark humor of Black Crow Road and Kicked in the Head weave together with the social consciousness of Pictures at an Execution, while tracks like No War and Captain George take an alarmed global perspective. Other songs stay closer to the band’s Irish influences including the stampeding instrumental title track. Two traditionals serve to define The Kissers’ stamp on the emerging Celtic rock genre.

in their trusty and steadfast van, The Kissers in 2005 played a staggering 210 shows spanning 75,000 miles back and forth between clubs, pubs, festivals, and universities across the U.S. They have opened up for acts like Shane MacGowan and the Popes, Gaelic Storm, Antigone Rising, the Fleshtones, and Junior Brown. While keeping up a breakneck touring pace, they are continuing to write material for their upcoming third album.

Discography

Good Fight! - LP (2005)
Fire in the Belly - LP (2003)