(Stop rolling your eyes! I know what you’re thinking: Kittie on NO CLEAN SINGING?!? But hold your horses and read Andy Synn’s review. You will be pleasantly surprised.)
Straight off I’ll say this – this is the best Kittie album to date. And I say that as a huge fan of both Oracles and Funeral For Yesterday in particular. However, I think that identifies the crux of Kittie’s occasional problems – the former is clearly the band’s heaviest record, while the latter is clearly their most darkly melodic, and the band have spent the rest of their time trying to marry the two together with varying results, the intervening and subsequent albums pulled in several directions at once by these competing pressures.
Like many of you (and indeed the band themselves at times), I would much rather ignore the existence of the execrable Spit, as the band really only developed into a proper musical entity with the release of the utterly devastating Oracles, whose self-loathing, Obituary-esque stomp and grind was lightened solely by occasional injections of emotionally fraught, PJ Harvey-channelling clean vocals.
Since then, building from a core of steady, grinding riffs, harsh blackened screams and chilling, ethereal clean vocals, the band (primarily the Lander sisters) have slowly attempted to expand their sound, giving it more energy and life with a steady influx of snappier riffs (“Until The End”), expressive and expansive structuring (“Funeral For Yesterday”) and nuanced leads (“Into The Black”) which, when added to the unflinchingly precise drumming of Mercedes Lander, all mix to create a rich melting pot of ideas from which to draw. (more after the jump . . .)