Kill Switch…Klick – Organica

I’ve never heard of Kill Switch…Klick before, but from what I gather, they’ve been rocking the dance scene in the northwest for some time. Actually, d.A. Sebasstian, the mastermind behind KSK, has a number of electronic beat-related projects under his belt, a list that fills a page with tiny type. Got to admire that. Without hearing his other projects, I can say KSK has much more of a band feel. There are elements of electronic and dance grooves here, but this particular album is something new for Sebasstian. Using all acoustic instruments, Sebasstian then sampled and synthesized them to create this sound, a mesh between rock and electronic. Apparently, this is to be KSK’s last album, but be assured Sebasstian will be doing something different.
So the question here is, is this an electronic album, a rock album, or something in between? Yes. I’m reminded of the first time I heard industrial, when Nine Inch Nails and Ministry were playing (of course, industrial had been around before that) with electronic sounds and rock instruments. Sebasstian is doing that here, but his use of acoustic instruments and rock structure makes this an interesting listen. What industrial album would use acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, and trombone in addition to samplers and synthesizers, after all? But, the industrial feel is here. The vocals are dark, in a fashion, and the sped-up drum beats and heavy bass set the stage for each song on this album.
“Celebrate” starts off with one of the best bass riffs that I’ve heard in a long time. Then piano, then this electronic backbeat. And then vocals that totally remind me of Morphine, especially with that killer bass. By this point, I’m wondering what exactly this is, but I like it. “Go Man, Go!!!” has more of that killer bass with acoustic guitar, some sampled drums, and a heavy industrial/goth feel to it without being too fast or depressing. Horns come in on “So (Fucking) Happy,” which reminds me more of a KMFDM song than NIN or the slower Morphine. But the acoustic guitar on here lends a lighter feel to the song. Now get this: “5 Hotwheels in My Box” is Sebasstian’s children saying “five,” sampled into the song, with bagpipes and banjo. You’ve got to hear it to understand it, trust me. “Treason & Velvet” has much more of a rock feel to it, with normal beats and very little sampling but some cool synthesizer in the background. There’s even a steel drum sound and flute in the repetitive “Sa Ta Na Ma.” “Follow Me” has a dub beat and feel to it, just a little too slow to make it work perfectly. Whereas “Living in Your Hell” could almost be a slowed down NIN song with acoustic guitar instead of electric. And the album finishes with what are apparently two four-track demos, but the production quality sure sounds good to me.
Judging from the amount of press I’ve found when researching KSK, I should have heard of this band long ago, but perhaps the Seattle area is keeping them all to themselves. I expect that Organica may not be the best place to get into KSK, because their older music is apparently more beat oriented. But by itself, if you’re going to take my recommendation and not necessarily look up the band’s backlog, Organica is a good album, full of unique sounds and very unique samples. And it rocks, something I appreciate in an electronic band. Maybe this is going to be the offshoot of the NIN style of industrial.