Heavy blues guitar, classic American imagery, dueling boy / girl vocals – stop us (oh oh oh stop us) if you’ve heard this one before. One twist, though; Kill It Kid come, not from Nashville or Atlanta, but from deepest, darkest Bath. That location suited them when they appeared as an acoustic, folk tinged outfit on their first record last year but this reinvention as something darker would perhaps raise a few eyebrows. Until, that is, you actually listen to Feet Fall Heavy.
It takes a mere few seconds of ‘You’re In My Blood’ to convince that Kill It Kid are the real deal. They do so by use of a simple trick, intertwining a ancient deep South vocal sample into their own twisted guitar riff. Simple but hugely effective and one that they repeat across the album, the ghosts of the past sharing the limelight with the custodians of the present. For listeners so used to hearing sample A bolted onto sample B to come up with money making hit C, it’s a refreshing approach and one that never grows tired, at least not on this occasion.
It helps that the band themselves are able to hold their own next to the sounds of the past. What can often come across as ham fisted and uninspired here strikes as genuinely inspired and, more importantly, completely natural. Chris Turpin does have a tendency to venture into Andrew Strong territory with his vocals at times, but luckily keyboardist Stephanie Ward is on hand to provide a counterbalance throughout. And yes, they do give it socks on the guitar front (as well as everything else) but if you’re going to go for it you may as well really go for it. That rarest of all things these days, an album that surprises you for all the right reasons.