When English pop-rock act the Kooks released their debut album early in 2006, they were just another aspiring quartet with a couple of top 40 singles to their name.

When English pop-rock act the Kooks released their debut album early in 2006, they were just another aspiring quartet with a couple of top 40 singles to their name. Two million worldwide album sales later, according to EMI, the stakes are rather higher for the follow-up.

The BRIT School graduates, based in Brighton on England's South Coast, succeeded beyond their most optimistic expectations with "Inside In/Inside Out," a multiplatinum U.K. success fueled by hit singles including "You Don't Love Me," "Naive" and "She Moves in Her Own Way."

Now the Kooks' sophomore set, "Konk," out internationally this week on Virgin and in North America on Astralwerks, is an early test for the new EMI regime.

"It's going to be fine, as long as they keep putting out great records," lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Luke Pritchard says. "I do think the streamlining is a good idea. Some of our great friends work at the label and for them it's really shit, and the way they've gone about it is pretty harsh, but the whole idea of it is right. Now, hopefully, it should revert back to being more about the music, signing less acts and working hard."

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