Kill Krinkle Club, Dublin’s “child-Japanese-electro-pop-with-Russian influences” act (their words not ours) has a back-story fit for idols. The two-piece consist of Swede Elina and Dubliner Justin, who share swirling co-ed vocals. They met in a Dublin bar after Justin got a night off work by winning a coin toss. ‘Krinkle’, according to the band, is a fairytale character that stops us from reaching our true potential. Abandon, then, does a great job of obliterating the band’s own inner Krinkle.
Saturated with looping synths and possessing an undertone that hints at a world of slowly mutilating darkness, Kill Krinkle Club’s debut plays like one smooth, moonlit dance to the devil. Played on surround sound, the distorted bleeps and flowing rhythms are so intense they border on disorientating, perfect for dancing round an open fire on Halloween night holding a chain saw and dressed in a hockey mask.
Opener ‘Butterfly’ sets the tone. Keeping things both impressively unhurried and lightly-muffled could almost be seen as an act of daring in electronica circles, and ‘Butterfly’ does just that, allowing the slow-building undercurrent to reach a catchy yet understated chorus featuring a gently twisting duet, followed by a lively bridge. Closer ‘Sleepy Song’ is another memorable one, taking the pace down to an absolute minimum in a touching instrumental that rounds off the album with a feat of impressive subtlety. In the middle, there’s a distinctly ‘Depeche Mode’ pace to things, albeit slower and less predictable than the ’80s superstars. Songs like ‘Nightfall’ offer the gentlest of crescendos while ‘Golden Eagle’ provides a heady, mind-melting effect with clever, slow-building peaks and troughs.
The vocals – both Justin and Elina’s are exceptional and swirl intimately together – are the icing on the cake of what’s already a compelling debut. Abandon sets its stall out early, and holds together more tightly than many of Kill Krinkle Club’s more-expensively produced peers can match. The final goal, we’re told, is to be number one in fourteen countries before burning out and heading for rehab. Abandon might not quite get them that far, but given the morphing, ear-bending inventiveness of the debut, why not aim high?