Culturally, music and fashion often overlap, meaning a lot of the time you’re being told what to listen to, what to wear and what to like.
Upon discovering The Kill Van Kulls and their new single ‘Wishing’, therefore, I was looking forward to the described “bitter taste towards stereotypes within the fashion and music industries.”
This is in no way punk music. Rather, to the ear it feels all a bit late-Noughties indie, with heavy riffs and trembling vocals that have been done before but are in no way worn out.
A gritty bass-line and hook around the 40 second mark that has been noted fairly regularly from what I’ve seen has set the Kill Van Kulls up nicely for their upcoming album.
Last year we were introduced to the Wooden Heart EP, which gained some positive attention from the likes of XFM and Amazing Radio. A very British insight into their abilities, the Kill Van Kulls have contradicted any preconceptions that pop music should ever be synonymous with hollow, sold-out or corporatised. I wouldn’t want to compare any band to Queen (and am not) – and on the exterior there’s no obvious comparison – but reverting back to ‘Somewhere In Time’, there’s a slight reminder of seeing ‘We Will Rock You’ at the theatre back in about 2011. And I’m sure, I should clarify, that anybody with any musical competence will disagree with me on this one. Aurally, Queen is not there at all, but there is, in my opinion, definitely something theatrical about this which gives it that musical vibe (hence the reference).
There’s something very dramatic in the compositions and harmonies, and this can only be good. Similarly, with ‘Oceans’, there’s that gentle pop backed up by a repetitive, semantic defiance always lingering on the edge of a powerful guitar riff.
As for the instrumentals, especially in ‘Oceans’, I almost felt a sense of Doolittle-era Pixies (although more refined) in the guitar-playing, which has evolved somewhat by ‘Wishing’, but maintains that overall punch. A tongue in cheek video and a history of music that’s, well, good, has aligned the KVKs well for a strong fan-base, and whilst their atypical politics may not conform to the overall sound that Thought Police are looking for in their Pop industry, this is definitely music worth actually buying.
Further to this, the Manchester 3 piece has already played 2 sets in both Leeds and London this year, with more dates to be released. Currently focusing on tending to their growing fan-base, I feel the Kill van Kulls have a lot left to offer this year.