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July 05, 2010

Music Review: Kill Kenada - From Maggots to Flies

Kill Kenada are from Bognor Regis, England. You might say they are the UK's answer to Sonic Youth, and the answer is "get the fuck on with it!" Their new album, From Maggots to Flies, provides 30 minutes of noisy art-punk, bookended by two slow songs devoid of drums or amplification.

If you're a Regina Spektor fan, then maybe you've already heard them -- they featured on "Your Honor," from Soviet Kitsch. If not, then imagine three skilled punks playing for their lives. They've had three drummers since forming in 2001, and it's easy to imagine them dropping out due to the pace.

They're aggressive and loud -- hence "punk." But their riffs are complicated and musical in the At the Drive-In, Future of the Left vein -- hence "art."

Bassist Tim Smithen and guitarist Dan Williams both favor Fenders, meaning their sound is angular and screechy but clear through the distortion. Drummer "Stevie Styx" plays at a million miles an hour, cymbals crashing everywhere, but is as controlled as the other two. Tim's vocals don't make much sense, but move at will from a low singing voice to a strained yell.

While every track here (except maybe the bookends "Scumbag" and "Back") is worth listening to, is it fair to call a 30 minute record (no CDs -- only vinyl and download) an album?

I've been waiting five years for this album and I didn't feel short-changed. "The Ballad of Nancy Walker," for instance, was only three minutes long, but felt like a seven-minute song squeezed into a smaller container. That's how this album, and all good punk, works -- it hits you hard and fast, and leaves you winded but grinning.

The only place to buy Kill Kenada's physical media seems to be their website. From Maggots to Flies is available to stream here.

Score: 5 out of 5
Confused about our scoring system? Read this explanation.


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