While admittedly a rip-roaring listen, the third LP by blues derivative/grunge group Kill It Kid is a record that sees them move ever-increasingly towards the mainstream. Originally a roots rock & blues act with heavy folk influences, the Bath foursome have cranked up the volume considerably for this emphatic crowd pleaser, ultimately shedding the very facet of their act that made them interesting in the first place.
Gone are the Delta-blues influenced jangles and understated country ballads that worked so well on their excellent, if overlong, second album Feet Fall Heavy, replaced by heavily distorted, energetic guitar riffs, thumping bass-lines and blaring vocals. While this alone is not altogether a bad thing, as hard-hitting garage rock tunes like ‘Black It Out’, ‘High Class’, and the effortlessly catchy, beat-driven ‘Cheap Revival’ will contest, there does seem to be a distinct lack of personality that was all too apparent in Kill It Kid’s previous work.
Contrived pop ballads like ‘Coraline’ and ‘Hurts To Be Loved By You’ sound painfully misplaced alongside the aggressive energy of the record’s opening third, while the vocal symmetry of Chris Turpin and pianist Stephanie Ward appears uncomfortable at times as they each proceed to transcend one another. Besides the rare instances when the band return to their roots, such as on ‘Tired Of The Way You Want To Live’ and the delicately honest closer ‘Law of Love’, Kill It Kid inevitably struggle to impose their sense of identity on the record, resulting in the listener effectively drowning in a sea of endless guitar riffs. A slight let down, but a vigorous one nonetheless.