Southkill – S/T EP


With five tracks that make it almost to the 40-minute mark, Southkill’s debut comes off as more of a full-length effort than the EP the duo claim it is. Comprised of John Dudley (drums and samples) and Jason Kerr (guitar and vocals), the group creates music that you wouldn’t expect from a guitar-and-drums combo. There are no allusions of blues or garage rock here, just layered sounds that encompass all the freedom of jazz and hints of progressive and math rock.
Southkill makes textured sound the focus with the guitar driving each track through its ebb and flow with the drums following along and occasionally serving to rein each piece back in. While proficient players, Dudley and Kerr’s music is more experimental or jam oriented than technical in nature. I get the sense that these guys just wanted to play together and don’t have much of a direction or goal for Southkill. Although this is completely cool in my book, the result is an EP that gets relegated into background music territory and only intermittently breaks its way into the foreground.
The only vocals present are a few whispered lines on the second song “Do You Always Act That Way?” that are nearly impossible to make out even at top volume. As such, I really consider this EP to be an instrumental effort. With lots of fuzz, feedback, and sporadic droning tendencies, this album could almost be the new stoner rock.
I ultimately feel a bit middle-of-the-road about Southkill. I normally eat up music like this, but I find myself wishing this release had a bit more oomph. Perhaps a few more time changes or the addition of vocals would have pushed this beyond the realm of enjoyable, but not striking music. Perhaps just jamming together is as far as Dudley and Kerr will take Southkill, but I have a feeling this duo could take this project much farther.