I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to outer space. On occasion I’ve thought I had gone there many a time, but alas, upon reentry into consciousness I found that I hadn’t even left the living room. Seeing as I cant afford to pay The Russians to get me up there, I figure the next best bet will to be catch a ride back to Mars with Kill Me Tomorrow whenever they decide they’ve had enough with us petty humans.
K8, Zack and Dan comprise Kill Me Tomorrow, San Diego’s art-punk sweethearts. This innovative trio has been compared to bands like The Fall, Wire and Suicide, yet make music that’s completely original. Culling influence from their predecessors, KMT present sinister tales of a parallel America over music that represents the melding of three twisted minds. Vocalist Zack Wentz doubles as drummer and noisemaker, carrying the rhythm on his stand up cocktail drum kit and blasting the listener with programmed and triggered beats through a Korg Kaos Pad and other toys. Bassist (and Zack’s wife) K8 Wince rides the beats with a bass that is run through so many pedals it makes the instrument take on a life of its own. And it’s a beautiful noise. Dan Wise yields a squealing six-stringer to lead the band to a place that only they know the coordinates of.
The Garbageman and the Prostitute is KMT’s first proper full length, and a concept album, joining the musical versions of a novel of short stories written by Zack. The listener isn’t given the lyrics or the stories, just a short synopsis of the story behind each song, and this is the way they want you to have it. Instead of force-feeding the exact message and meaning down your throat, the band lets you use your own deciphering skills to ascertain what the fuck is really going on in the sick and twisted world of Kill Me Tomorrow. And often times its not pretty, with tales of werewolves and murdered redheaded prostitutes abound.
The songs on Garbageman… each set a different and distinct mood for the story they represent. From the chilling “I Require Chocolate” about an over-the-hill superhero found guilty of bizarre sex crimes, to the almost circus-like “Chart of You,” about the dubious workings of ClearCo Corp., the album is the soundtrack for Zack’s imaginary (or is it?) world.
Don’t be fooled by the mention of lot’s of pedals and programming, this isn’t a purely noise band. KMT is a pop band at heart, just a type you and I haven’t ever heard before, and glimpses of this can be seen on tracks like “The Best Siren is a Flesh Siren,” and “Born to Be Filed.”
Following their great Suicide cover on the Skins Getting Weird E.P., here KMT do an excellent interpretation of Captain Beefheart’s “Hot Head.” So good in fact, it should stir the reclusive Don Van Vliet himself out of hiding to do some guest prose on the next KMT album.
I could go on and on about how good this album is, but that probably won’t do you any good. This is an album that is near impossible to do justice in words — you need to hear this yourself. I’m not being naïve. I know that, to many, this album will seem like pure noise with a few moments of listenable pop structure, and it may take a few listens for others to warm up to. But for my fellow freaks and weirdos this is an instant classic.
The best part? It’s only their first album! Awww, I can just see it now. Twenty years from now, Kill Me Tomorrow at the Casbah, Zack looking older than Mark E. Smith does now, playing their “classics” while I sip on a beer telling the kids how I’ve been listening to these guys since “before you were born!” I can’t wait.
On second thought, with the building of a McDonalds on Mars not too far off, Kill Me Tomorrow will probably skip their home planet all together when they ditch this rock. I hear Jupiter has affordable housing and the weather is great there this time of year. Hell, I’ll even pitch in for gas and burritos for the trip.
The Fall – The Wonderful and Frightening World Of…
Pere Ubu – The Modern Dance
Suicide – Suicide