Two years after an impressive and well-received self titled debut, Kill It Kid return with an immense record, Feet Fall Heavy. Opening with a gospel preacher speaking of sin, his Christian cries are contradicted wholly through the fiercely dirty bass [which one can’t deny sounds similar to that of Roger Waters iconic opening rift on Money] that interrupts his message of benevolence.
Similarities could perhaps be drawn to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, especially on this, the album opener You’re in My Blood, deeply harsh and dark guitar strums being joined by the powerful and intensely compelling vocals of Steph Ward. Lead singer Chris Turpin takes charge of second track Heart Rested With You, with Ward offering backing vocals – fearsome guitar perfectly accompanies a ferocious deliverance on the vocal front.
Wild and Wasted Waters is the third and most beautiful track on this refined and well-rounded record. A mellower offering to other works, a chorus of the songs title returns further connotations of preaching, sounding in parts like a motivational song for those times deemed unspeakable. Being listed under Americana/Blues and Grunge genre titles is perhaps fitting for this record, whilst conflictingly both restricting and misleading us – the sound is, at present, far from that of any other on offer.
The evident Americanized sound of the four piece is surprising considering they derive from Bath, and list Otis Redding, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan as influences. Regardless, for a second album it is ridiculously mature.
Lead vocal responsibility is split evenly between Ward and Turpin throughout the record, and while Marc Jones [Drums and Backing Vocals] and Dom Kozubik [Bass] remain unquestionably consistent on their respected instruments, the varied lead vocals ensure interest is held throughout.
Dark Hearted Songbird is the slowest offering and sees Ward again lead proceedings. A deeply gripping track, it allows the lyrics to take precedence over a melody that could almost be described as tranquil in parts. Beginning once again with mr preacher, indicating that this time, “We is gunna sing one of the old specials, one of the old time songs, and I’d like for everybody to sing with uplifted vocals”, Ward dually complies, with a pace both deliberate and beguiling.
In-keeping with the old country feel given by both inserts of the preachers preaching’s and the songs themselves, this tracks musters up the image of desert location captured on colour negative film. A rocking chair adorning the porch of a small desert dwelling, tumbleweed, soft dust clouds, and a door left ajar, all animated, albeit unhurriedly, by the forlorn desert breeze.
The following track offers up both direction and a possible reason for the abandoned scene envisioned on the title prior. Run is less the Gospel Choir, more the motivational and meaningful cries of an empowered backing group, working the blues club central to an underground uprising. A big, ridiculously likeable and far more powerful sound than one might expect from five white kids from Bath.
Sweet Nothing feels unbefitting on first listen, and further attention may still raise questions over the track-listing. Given the stripped back approach of a guitar, and the emotional male vocals of Turpin, while nice, would perhaps feel out of place surrounded by any of the tracks on this album. It is however, a nice illustration of variation and should perhaps be rewarded for it.
This is a masterful album from a young band demonstrating maturity, and a sound, which is at present unrivalled.
Words by Jack Mitchell