Hello Defective – Kill Us Now

Hello Defective
Kill Us Now

Hello Defective are the British duo of Armitage and Kirby with some extra help by a few other contributors. This is their debut full-length of bright psych pop in vein of mid-90s Flaming Lips material. Kirby’s vocals are very similar to that of Wayne Coyne, with a wistful, nasal charm and grace. They craft some very pleasant melodies that show their influences but are definitely not derivative in any way.
“Getting Started with Stereo” starts the disc with some bouncing keyboard work and jangling guitar, with some other effects adding to the cloudy feeling. The song uses a wonderful psych-pop melody mixing with vocals that are reminiscent of Coyne and some nice guitar breaks. “Plastic Hearts” is a blissful piece of what songwriting should be like, with some truly great vocals and soaring guitar from Kirby. Kirby’s dirty, fuzzed-out guitar sound is spectacular here, while there is also a standout keyboard performance by Armitage not to be outdone. This is a standout performance on this disc where everything clicks, as the song ends before you want it to.
“Kill Us Now” sounds like a lost track that the members of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev have never made. Kirby sounds eerily like Coyne again here, while there are some simplistic yet experimental sounds emanating from the backing. “Dim Like a Dog’s Life” is a nice, laid-back piece of pop magnificence with some ultra catchy melodies. Kirby’s breathy vocals will stick in your head long after the songs, and the backing vocals give your mind something else to play with. “Our Haunted House is Home” has a spacey Bowie-like vocal melody behind some nice guitar work and airy keys.
This is one of the most pleasurable discs I have heard in a long time. It’s always great to hear music that is willing to take chances and shines because of it. This style has been done over and over again, but few stretch the boundaries like this band, making the album a must-listen. Kirby and Armitage complement each other very nicely through it all, crafting some unbelievable pysch-pop songs. This was one of the most unexpected surprises of a disc I have ever come across; it has really knocked me off my feet every time I put it on. After each listen, something new shows itself. This is a disc that needs to be heard by everyone, one of the best listening experiences for me in a long time. I can’t find the words to express how good it makes me feel.