Every now and again i’m given or come across an album by a band that I am unfamiliar with and know nothing about.. I like this because most of the time i’m blown away by what I hear but occasionally it can go the other way and i’m left with a record (sorry showing my age here) that does nothing for me at all. Thankfully, the former applies to Killcode’s self titled debut.
Originally released in 2012 then re-released by Megaforce in the Summer of 2013. Sadly, still no UK distribution. Don’t let this scupper your chances of getting hold of it, it’s out there in all the obvious places.
Killcode are a five piece, New York based groove machine who are one part feel good chugging modern southern rock with the attitude and swagger of some of New York City’s finest both past and present. Yet, this only really tells half the story. Throw in the commercial and melodic sound of modern day arena rock acts and couple that with the classic mid to late 80’s sound of your favourite chart topping long hair crew, then a dollop of heyday Seattle goodness and you’re beginning to get a grip of what this excellent five piece sound like. I think I can safely say that Killcode proudly display their influences firmly on their sleeves.
Yet, Killcode stamp their own authority and sound on this peach of a debut.
Opening track “Still Here” goes straight for the throat with its chunky riffing and some fine slide guitar. No fancy intro just straight in there with a bang! Vocalist Tom Morrissey brings to mind both Bret Michaels (Poison) and Keith Caputo (Life Of Agony), two frontmen poles apart but this works a treat.
Next up is “Hands Up” with its moody verses a la Stone Temple Pilots but then they throw in hardcore chanted vocals for the chorus. See, I told you this was a difficult album to label and we’re only two tracks in!!
“Tied”, “Loose”, “Time” and “Shotgun” keep the pace up, lots of hard hitting riffs with the Killcode catchy groove and melody evident throughout. As I mentioned earlier, this album has that swagger and unlike a lot of albums these days, is one record you just have to play from start to finish without hitting the skip button. Always a sign of a damn fine enjoyable collection of music.
“Liberated” is another of their southern rock numbers on here which again blends the old school 70’s southern goodness with a modern day twist.
“Opium Dogs”, my personal favourite on the album is one of those songs that has you nodding your head in approval throughout. Again, Stone Temple Pilots spring to mind but this time jamming with the sadly defunct, Mind Funk. Oh and those backwards messages at the beginning and middle of the song?? No idea what they say, seeing I got this sent digitally so I can’t play it in reverset like I could vinyl. I imagine the likes of Tipper Gore would have a field day with it…’nuff said.
“Trust” is cast iron single material, catchy, melodic and dare I say it, has that pop edge that would see it rival many a song released by more established acts. . Guest vocals by Angelina DelCarmen, i’m assuming the Long Island based model, add just that little bit more sweetness to the song. It’s one of “those songs” that you just can’t help singing in your head for days/weeks after.
Closing track “Bad Mother” is a short sharp blast of attitude with Morrissey proclaiming that he’s a “bad mother…” and that he “don’t give a f…”!!! Did I also hear a Johnny Cash reference in there…”I shot a man in Reno”?
If a melting pot of metal grooving goodness is your thing, seek this out. You’ll be pressing “play” repeatedly…