American Gothic and Hanging Out

Kepi (former frontman for the Groovie Ghoulies) is back with two CDs: American Gothic, which most resembles his folky solo stuff, and the pure rock ’n’ roll Hanging Out. Kepi covers different Daniel Johnston songs on both albums; “My Life is Starting Over Again” on Hanging Out gives the listener a sense that Kepi genuinely identifies with the song’s theme. In fact, both albums seem more personal for Kepi than evidenced in past work. Kim Shattuck of The Muffs drops in to sing on American Gothic’s “This Friend of Mine,” while on Hanging Out, Kepi uncharacteristically criticizes his Sacramento hometown on the track “12 Hour Town.” Despite stylistic and thematic differences, these two records go together like hot fudge and ice cream, so if you’re a Kepi fan, you’ll definitely want both.