Recommendation: Kill It Kid – Kill It Kid

Kill It Kid – Kill It Kid
One Little Indian records, 2009

I’ll say it right at the start – you’re going to be taken aback by vocalist and chief songwriter Chris Turpin’s voice. How a voice as big as that (there’s no other way of describing it) comes out of someone so young is a mystery that will haunt scientists for years to come. While they try and figure it out, you can pass the time by listening to Kill It Kid’s debut. Believe me, there’s worse things you could do with your time.

With the wave of hip, indie bands making a splash these days, it can be hard to tell one apart from the other at times. Not with these kids though. Between Richard Jones’ fiddle and violin, Adam Timmins’ banjo, Steph Ward’s excellent vocals/piano and the aforementioned heavenly singing courtesy Turpin, this band’s sound sticks out from the crowd like a straight edge kid at a rave.

Their unique brand of blues-meets-folk-meets-jazz-meets-jive is in full flow right from the word go, as Heaven Never Seemed So Close bounds out of the speakers and straight into your limbs with an irresistible enthusiasm that’ll keep you dancing like it’s the 60s. There’s so much going on you have to hear the song a few times over just to notice the layers of instrumentation and background effects, but it all comes together in a groove so tight you want to hear the song over and over just to have a good time. The already released single Burst Its Banks continues in the same flavour, somehow maintaining the same soaring spirit even though its verses play out at half the pace of the chorus.

It’s more of a credit to these two songs than a slight to the next one, Ivy And Oak, that it doesn’t quite seem as impressive. It’s not a bad song by any means, but the brilliant opening duo is a tough act to follow. Ward and Turpin combine their vocals to excellent effect; their voices complement each other while also shining individually. This vocal to-and-fro comes to the fore on Fool For Loving Me, which sounds exactly like what the title suggests.

Send Me An Angel Down is a highlight, and arguably the best song on the record. It will break your heart with its mellow intro and quietly despairing vocals. There’s few songs that can evoke bittersweet memories of that one special love without crossing into cheesy territory, so it’s always impressive when a band can pull it off. That it comes from a band making its debut is, quite frankly, astounding.

Send Me An Angel Down

Ward takes the lead on Private Idaho with compelling results. It’s a folk song through-and-through and once again you’re left wondering how a band so young can write lyrics and music that sounds well beyond their years. The surprises continue with My Lips Won’t be Kept Clean and Troubles Of Loretta, foot-stompers reminiscent of the best country/western music from decades gone by. Drummer Marc Jones does an exemplary job of keeping the tight rhythm you need to make something like this work.

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing, and Dirty Water is where the album hits, well, choppy waters. It’s the second longest song at 5:03 min and it can feel a bit stop-start at the best of times. Bye Bye Bird flies by without creating much of a flutter and Taste The Rain fails whet the appetite.

Would I recommend this album? Absolutely. It’s a solid debut and at its best moments it will lift you up and take you for a spin around the heavens. The last three songs might flatter to deceive compared to what precedes them, but when the rest of the album is as good as it is, who gives a damn? A star has been born, and it’s going to take the indie scene by storm. Mark my words.

Heaven Never Seemed So Close



About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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