Canadian ‘grunk’ rockers Kill Matilda are back with more of their middle finger musical delights.
A band that’s been bubbling away nicely for some time could well boil over with this latest EP.
Centered around Dusty Exner and her husband Mykel, the Canucks have earned a reputation for truly rip roaring live shows, that for sheer energy are in a league of their own. Couple this with a serious love of beer and you can imagine that this is no picture postcard outfit, they are rock and roll through and through, as hard as a stick of seaside rock (mind your teeth). There’s another side to Kill Matida though. Far from everything being plain sailing Dusty and Mykel have been put through the emotional wringer including several hospitalisations. If ever the phrase “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” should be applied then it’s here.
With a voice that sounds like an angry Courtney Love having a scrap with a wine sodden Kat Bjelland there’s never any doubting Dusty Exner’s ability to deliver fiery and red-blooded vocals. More to the point in this latest EP she does it with the authority and conviction that you only really get from someone who is confident and happy with where they are right now. The passion is there the same as ever, but now amid all the angst and ire you get a sense of well being, a spring in the musical step.
This is seen most on Pomegranate which bops along leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The fuzzed guitar and understated rhythm section coupled with that fantastic vox reminded me of sadly missed acts like The Lunachicks and Die Cheerleader, bands that in many ways were a long way ahead of their time. Maybe in some way Kill Matilda are like a torch bearer carrying an Olympic flame, carrying, and in the process improving, before hopefully handing things over many many years from now.
With a recent resurgence in this kind of music it could be argued that Punk#Zombie#RockNRoll is pretty generic. That is a moot point though because with a handful of exceptions, what isn’t these days? Also those people who have spent considerably more than a small nation’s budget on sound gear or who like crisp clear distinctions in musical tone will no doubt note the production is a tad basic. With roots firmly ensconced in punk rock I’m sure Dusty and the guys can live with being tagged as mildly unsophisticated.
Like many bands of this type, I can imagine that listening to them on a recording is a bit like looking a photograph of a great landscape. Good but nothing like the real thing. You can hear them play, understand the lyrics but you can’t feel them, see first hand their passion or have a beer with them after the show’s over. The Punk#Zombie#RockNRoll EP comes pretty close.
It’s consistent, showing a band moving on rather than stagnating. I just wish Canada was nearer so I could see that live show for myself.
Kill Matilda have made a record that makes me want to buy a plane ticket to go and see them. Now what did I do with my passport?