KISS IS KILL
The industrial rock scene has been enjoying a long overdue resurgence over the past few years and has seen the release of some great albums as a result. Another name to add to the growing list of bands is Kiss Is Kill, AKA James Chapple (Triptaka), which sees the producer strike out on his own with the début album 'Imposter Syndrome'. It's a project full of big beats, hard guitars, snarled vocals and searing synths that recalls the likes of Cubanate, Victory Pill, Be My Enemy and Pig.
The album ticks all the boxes for what a great industrial rock album should be in 2015. There are those classic elements that are beloved by old school fans, but it is fresh, relevant, and most importantly, damn catchy.
The album kicks off with the stripped-back and grooving intro to 'Moving' that pushes the synth bass and rhythms to the front before erupting into a snarling punk-infused sing-a-long. The likes of 'Ready', 'Communion', 'Revelation', 'Taste Of Home', and 'I'm Burning' provide the album with a solid backbone that sees the Kiss Is Kill formula established beyond a doubt. The most interesting tracks on the album though are the altogether more quiet 'Digging In' with it's light ambient textures giving way to a more melancholic synthpop approach, providing a nice counterpoint to the aggression on the rest of the album. The other is the album's closer 'The Shift' which effectively distils the strongest elements of all the previous tracks in to one hell of a swansong.
The album is well produced and maintains a gritty approach but thankfully still sounds up-to-date and doesn't fall into that popular trap of trying to sound like something from the 90s. Occasionally the guitars sound a little too low in the mix, but that doesn't affect the quality of the songs and is just a case of nitpicking really.
This is a strong début that knows its target audience and gives them what they want. Throw in some great guest performances by Phil Barry (Be My Enemy, Cubanate), Pete Crossman (Victory Pill), Scott Michael Owens (Tempest and the Diaspora), and Dave Kelly (Triptaka) and 'Imposter Syndrome' packs some serious punch. There isn't anything that attempts to reinvent the wheel, but the album is written and performed with passion and will easily find a willing audience.