w/ Imperial Teen, Fiver

Fri April 26, Crocodile, $10.

KaitO hails from Norwich, England, which means that if I were to meet them, I probably wouldn't understand a damn word they were saying. But my lame Yank-tuned ears aside, their music is something I definitely understand--namely, the type of loud, excessively messy pop/punk that never fails to get a rise out of even the most comatose listener.

In other words, they play really fun music--music that's meant to affect you in a physical way, be it through reckless abandon or simple head bobbing. Nearly every song from this four-piece is littered with some sort of WOO! or HEY! or YEAH!, but while such outbursts may shuffle other bands into the realm of too-cute-for-worthiness, KaitO's work is tainted with a sense of meanness, giving the entire poppy package a slight element of danger. Mixing traditional catches and hooks with sounds that can only be described as industrial--such as whines and grinds and alarming beeps--their songs hint at some lurking insidiousness, like a creepy neighbor with treats. Even if their lyrics never offer any sort of morbid tale to go along with the sound, the general feel of their songs is of the excitement and enjoyment of danger.

Still, for all this overwritten bluster about the band's dark side, the simple description may be that KaitO writes near-flawless pop songs, then dirties them up with feedback, shrieks, and machinery. You could call it industrial-pop-garage, perhaps, or maybe even smudge-pop ("smop"?). Regardless, it's exhilarating to listen to and, I'm willing to wager, even more exhilarating to witness live. Onstage, pounding their crates, KaitO is sure to wind up the entire audience, just as their CD winds you up when it spins away in your stereo. Which is pretty much what rock 'n' roll is, when you get down to it.