On first impressions the new EP from Kilkovec seems to be one of those standard, thrashy, punch-the-air-YEAH kind of affairs, but then the trio achieve something intriguing with this staid formula so beloved of artists like Biffy Clyro – they parry the punch and deliver a counter straight to your ear-holes.
About 20 seconds into opening track I Know I Don’t, the sweat drenched man mosh is interjected with a nifty little buzzing riff that stands you to attention before shoving you back into the groove. This kind of sonic awareness works well for Kilkovec as it draws the listener’s attention to the rather beautiful punk-staple “oh-oh-ohhs” that accentuate the lead vocals.
The following tune Big Mistakes struts into view with rollicking drums and scraggy guitars that give way to a breathing space occupied by the singer’s observation that “This was all a big mistake” before leading us up to a tight blitz of a guitar solo that wraps up in under 20 seconds.
This is how I like my rock music- snappy, refined, but with a capacity to damage lungs and, sadly, I have to be a little disappointed during track three Will You Be Alone, which begins with a cascade of arpeggiated guitar and promises a little more reflective version of Kilkovec. They don’t really deliver on this front and abandon the slighter approach a short way in to the song, chucking in some throaty screams at the end for good measure.
Seemingly in denial that Will You Be Alone ever happened, the band bound back into step with a barrage of powerful riffing on Roam From Home that again features their hallmarks that I found so interesting in the first place; syncopated guitar lines that draw the attention to Pixies-style dynamics and that top-notch backing vocalist.
EP closer Go On really ties things up well; a testament to their willingness to encourage a diversity in their sound, I have to actually check that Soundcloud hasn’t skipped me on to another artist when I hear the opening line “Reclaim the bridges you burnt”. There’s a new authority in the vocals that make me recall Johnny Cash or Ian Curtis’ style. A nice chorus pedal colours the guitar work effectively and when the clamorous chorus that I have come to expect from these guys comes around it is stunning; the combination of the two voices is an immaculate example of the beauty present in post punk if one just scratches the surface a little.
If you enjoy the ear offerings of Frank Turner, Sainthood Reps, Pearl Jam, or other similarly gunged up melody peddlers then this EP is for you. You can hear it on Soundcloud right this second if you so wish, or if you are the more charitable sort you could make a purchase when the physical release drops on Monday 27th April. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to revisit the more nihilistically minded days of my post-rock teenagerdom.
By Adam Morrison