Kill It Kid – Feet Fall Heavy

Kill It Kid - Feet Fall Heavy

Kill It Kid - Feet Fall Heavy

Kill It Kid don’t play by the rules, at least not the usual ones. Their own particular take on blues guitar and electronica is something they’ve honed to near perfection since the band first formed in 2007, and while it’s fair to mention that they’ve had some assistance in creating what is now their own very individualistic sound – the band’s first recordings were produced by PJ Harvey guitarist John Parish – fans of the recently Mercury awarded Ms Harvey won’t find much here that’s very similar to her own, equally individualistic heartfelt anthemic balladry. What anyone listening to Feet Fall Heavy will hear (if unfamiliar with the band) are some quite remarkably assured and occasionally spectacularly inspired songs which, drawing as they do upon upon delta blues, electronica and modern guitar pop for influences, are in their totality possessed of the qualities that mark Kill It Kid as originators, and it’s for this reason they are already making a very significant impression on both sides of the Atlantic.

Opening with some a combination of sampled spoken work and a thunderous growl of feedback, first track “You’re In My Blood” is a 12 bar grind at first reminiscent of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, except with a female vocalist (vocals are shared between keyboardist Stephanie Ward and guitarist Chris Turpin), except that there’s a measured grasp on the slide and distortion, and the song is all the more effective for Kill It Kids ability to pull their songs back onto their melodic structures, rather than letting the effects pedals carry the number. A competent enough introduction, but the ensuing nine tracks reveal some quite remarkable aspects to Kill It Kid and their music. Second track “Heart Rested With You” might’ve made for a more effective introduction, and it’s a more accurate representation of the bands sound: a blistering, howling, verging upon frenzied blues based number that only uses 70s metal as its start point, a song that’s taken at a powerhouse velocity and whose instrumental break builds into a near spectacular conclusion. Modern day blues rock, it has been said, relies too much on generated sound and too little on actual musicianship. What Kill It Kid do is avoid compromising their own skills, and there’s a notable influence of the mid 00s New Guitar school of bands that prevents any of their songs sliding too far into the kind of lengthy over indulgencies that some of their influences were perhaps noted for.

Listening to the album in its entirety, there are audible clues to exactly which bands Kill It Kid are taking their inspirations from. These are only clues however: a bit of Ten Years After here, a drum riff that’s somehow redolent of Depeche Mode there, vocals that can trace their origins back to Muddy Waters and beyond, sound collages that perhaps sprang from the more obscure areas of mid 70s Prog Rock. Kill It Kid bring all of this to life with both enthusiasm and a definite, verging upon defiant refusal to make the kind of music some listeners might want to hear, songs which remain more obviously within the accepted limits of what blues rock or indeed any other kind of rock music is supposed to sound like. Feet Fall Heavy is the sound of rules being broken, and does that ever sound good? It’s an album that is going to leave many of its listeners seriously reappraising exactly what they ever thought the blues were supposed to sound like, I kid you not.