Album Review Comedy



Kyle Kinane’s “Whiskey Icarus”

by Ryan Meehan
On November 24th of last year Kyle Kinane’s first one hour stand-up special “Whiskey Icarus” premiered on Comedy Central, and on Tuesday, January 29th the extended CD/DVD will be released on Comedy Central Records. 

This comes as a CD/DVD package, and the additional bonus feature on the DVD is Kyle’s half-hour performance from the popular series “Comedy Central Presents”.  There is about twenty minutes of material on the DVD that isn’t on the CD.  Kyle has a very gruff voice for a comedian.  In an alternate universe he’d make a great death metal singer.  He sort of looks like a cross between Neil Fallon of Clutch and any of the members of Baroness, depending on their shaving schedule after the accident. 
The disc was recorded live at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco, or as Kyle says…one of the only places you ask yourself “Am I in a dog-friendly lesbian bar or a lesbian friendly dog bar?”  Kinane’s strength is in storytelling, as he moves through everything from calling a cab to pick him up and take him to Wendy’s to the loneliness that comes with being delivered an unsliced pizza.  He attacks hipsters as well, and that’s a huge plus for me because if I see one more dude in corduroy pants drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon I’m going to eat somebody’s dog and there’s nothing hip or ironic about that. 

Kinane had a very likeable persona, and he seems like the guy in his group of friends who has the best drinking stories.  The title of the record is about when he got a DUI, and the full story is discussed on the album.  There’s a religion bit but it’s not too preachy, and listening to the album feels like more a hangout session then it does seeing a performer.  The end of the CD is exceptionally well written, and I know that’s the case because death and dying are difficult things to write jokes about.  Kyle rolls right through it, and it takes some serious balls to end a disc the way he does.  Although only ten tracks long, I felt very full by the end of the album…Sort of a comedy coma if you will. 

There is one thing that I’d like to address regarding the track listings on comedy albums, not necessarily a comment about this album in particular but several different records that hold the same theme.  In the future I’d like to see some of these comedians become a little bit more inventive with the track listings as opposed to just naming tracks after things that have nothing to do with the bits themselves.  Dave Cross really did it with the double disc, then Tosh did it on “True Stories I made Up”, and Kinane does it as well.  Kinane’s is a little different as he uses all Kiss song titles, but in the future I would like comedians to be a little bit more inventive when it comes to the whole track naming thing. 

Overall, I was very pleased with this disc.  I always stress pace when I talk comedy, and I do it because it’s very important to me.  Kinane seems to move through everything sharply without being too quick for his own good and still retains the “stoner” sector of his audience.  I’d recommend this disc to anyone who’s looking for new comedy that is open to hearing new bits as opposed to stock topics that almost every comedian has material on. 
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