Saturday 15 February 2014

No Kill - New Dirt

EP review by

This EP starts with a song called 'Big Muff Scream'. We daren't speculate on what that might mean or how they decided upon that name, that's just the way it is. Musically, the first offering from No Kill's EP 'New Dirt' is a sprightly combination of original British indie sounds and more American alt-rock and fuzz-rock from more recent times. The purr of guitars is always there and the chorus is a poppy delight, so we know this is more than a few people just picking up some instruments and having a go at making some songs; they're capable of writing some very good material. This is affirmed on 'Stand' where we also have the constant strum on guitars that are a little fuzzy around the edges. Here though, they opt for a more complete American sound, even touching on country at times, although it remains a song that fans of The Breeders or Veruca Salt will likely appreciate, yet it's less full-on than the latter, but they belong on the same branch of the musical family tree and the chord sequence is so simple and effective that it's a surprise it's not more common.

The song 'New Dirt' offers up something softer although by no means weaker. There's enough zest to keep everyone happy but the melodies are stronger and it all gets a little bit lovelorn. This is top-drawer fuzz-pop though, and again you can hear that '80s indie influence creping in. It might just be the best song on the record. Whilst keeping this a very cohesive set of songs, No Kill manage not to repeat themselves, and the boy/girl (but predominantly girl) vocals give way to a male lead on 'Good', another slower song that looks back at past mistakes with regret; not the most original subject matter, but something everyone can relate to. When we get to the chorus of "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah" everything heads skyward and a touch grander. Lastly we get the biggest change of all with 'Like To Meet You', a song that relies on more cleanly strummed guitar and vocals to the fore. It's almost a conventional rock song, but pretty soon they up the pace and introduce elements of country and fuzz-rock once more. The guitar chimes hark back to other points on the EP which ties everything together well. For what it is, 'New Dirt' is near faultless.

No Kill's website

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