"...an outstanding British record"

Pablo Picasso once noted "Youth has no age". But youth does have energy, passion and drive; all of which can be found in abundance on this eponymous debut. With an average age of 21, the music of this talented quintet is borne from the murky depths of delta blues whilst a naked country influence dips its toes in the shallows. Hailing from the modernity of Bath Spa has not stopped Kill It Kid drawing inspiration from the rural Mississippi guitarists of the early 20th Century and chucking distortion pedals into the mix.

Opening with the determined blues-rock of 'Heaven Never Seemed So Close', where fuzzy slide guitars battle with glassy violin, the dam opens to allow the baffling wonder of 'Burst Its Banks' to drive through stereo channels. Chris Turpin's unique voice encompasses the gruffness of Elvis Presley combined with the range of Gomez's Ben Ottewell. He is well complimented by the classy harmonies of pianist Stephanie Ward, who brings a light touch to this otherwise boisterous record. The band is most effective when employing deft changes of pace, particularly on tracks like the groovy 'Ivy And Oak' and the grinding rockabilly of 'Troubles Of Loretta'.

Producer Ryan Hadlock retains a sufficiently dirty element throughout the record, ensuring this debut effectively sidesteps blues cliché. Unfortunately, 'Private Idaho' and 'Dirty Water' where Ward delivers the lead vocal, both suffer from a noticeable lack of maturity in her voice that the songs demand. Nonetheless, that immaturity is barely noticeable when employed in tandem with Turpin - especially on the joyful, swinging bluegrass of 'My Lips Won't Be Kept Clean'.
Regardless of geographical influence, Kill It Kid is an outstanding British record - one that belies the group's young age. But then, music has no age.


Words by Ash Akhtar


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