October 28, 2004

Kill Yourself "soft touch of man"

England’s a cold, grimy place, which might explain why in recent years a number of English bands have taken a shine to that dirty, grimy Midwestern sound spearheaded by groups like The Jesus Lizard, Tar, Shellac, and maybe even Dazzling Killmen. And with the recent successes and quasi-successes of Giddy Motors and McClusky (who actually might be Scottish), could this Chicago infatuation eventually turn the British Isles on its head? Will all the Radiohead baby bands who have populated the airwaves here and there now become worshippers at the altar of Steve Albini and David Yow? From the looks (the cover features a stark portrait of a muzzled canine) and sounds of Kill Yourself’s debut recording, it could very well be so.

Taking most of their cues from the growling, hard-hitting intensity of Shellac, the trio run through an industrial, gray set of 7 songs in an equally industrial, gray 26 minutes. Factory-like, staccato, heavy-handed rhythms sit alongside weird chords that don’t quite sit with you. Every few minutes a guy whose voice falls somewhere between a less provocative Steve Albini and a gravelly English longshoreman appears to rant and rave about moustaches, coffee, computers, ribs, and ID’s. Check out these colorful excerpts and you might get the picture: “I am a watchtower/I am a real man” (from Computron 2000); “I have a moustache/but I ain’t no homo” (from “Moustache”).

While Kill Yourself may be the obvious product of their influences, the group manages to put enough of themselves to keep it interesting and, judging from the lyrical content, damn entertaining. The Soft Touch Of Man is a respectable debut in my book.

--Jonathan Pfeffer

Artist Website: http://www.obscenebabyauction.tk
Label Website: http://www.gringorecords.com

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