How to Kill: Like Angels (Failsafe)

 |   |  <1 min read

How to Kill: Bad Day at Black Rock
How to Kill: Like Angels (Failsafe)

If the band name, the album cover, titles like And Death Shall Have Dominion and the black on black postcards within don't give you the clue, then I shall flip all the cards and tell you: this four-piece from Christchurch delve into the dark stuff . . . but not in some kind of death-metal/horror-kitschy way at all.

These guys are a wall of sonics instrumental band who have a widescreen vision and the firepower to back it up. They also have a sense of dynamics which isn't grounded in the obvious soft-loud formula of the grunge era but owes more to the scouring of bands like New Zealand's Skeptics and New York guitar artists like Glenn Branca or those who move in the circles around Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo.

And they don't also go for the obvious sense of menace (stalking bass lines, creepy little guitar figures) but rather carve out sheer blocks of sound through suggestions of Metallica chords before skimming off with some references to evocative film-noir soundtracks.

This won't be to everyone's taste, but it is powerful, impressive, more measured than first impressions (or my description) might suggest, and I have found it remarkable tonic.

They should be big in Berlin. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City/Universal)

Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City/Universal)

The final song on this short, emotionally dense album finds our weary, baritone narrator driving home in winter, listening to a Donald Sutherland interview on the truck radio as “time... > Read more

John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

Guitarist John Scofield -- previously interviewed at Elsewhere and who played blinding free jazz at times when he appeared here with saxophonist Joe Lovano last year -- is either a music chameleon... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Bob Dylan:Belle Isle (1970)

Bob Dylan:Belle Isle (1970)

Because of the length and breadth of his catalogue, it is hardly surprising Bob Dylan should have appeared at From the Vaults from time to time (see here), not always with great, lost songs either.... > Read more

ELMORE JAMES: Sliding with the king

ELMORE JAMES: Sliding with the king

It has been almost half a century since Elmore James bent over to pull up his socks before going out to play in an Chicago nightclub . . . and went face down on to the floor with his third and... > Read more