Friday, 6 June 2008


I really love it when someone says "Hey listen to this band" and they turn out to be seriously good. Like the type of band you wished you'd tipped people off about and heard first (worst luck Forrest beat me too it- but never mind).
I mean I never knew what the word "blood curdling" meant until the shrieks emitted from KASMs occur ed. Taking a member from Test Icicles (and taking it in a direction as far from Dev Hynes' new stuff as possible) and a member of RAT:ATT:AGG, two defunct but brilliant bands, and grabbing two girls they've got the feedback meets pulsing beats via sonar vocals thing down. And it works!

KASMs have style but as well as that catchy macabre songs like "Taxidermy" which takes brooding guitars and a lead singer emitting shrieks and yelps like Siouxie has mated with Debbie Harry. It's a bit punk, its a bit moody. The likes of Ipso Facto and Violets have been joined by KASMs; strong female vocals floating (or rather writhing and stomping) over the favoured discordant guitars, wicked bass and thumping drums. "Toil and Trouble" doesn't really focus on lyrics, quite the bit of repetition going on, but it does have strong beats and a spiky, staccato guitar riff and "Siren Sister" takes the vocals down low and with elongated vowels speeding over electro-punk ending with an abrupt "Amen".

The songs are good, no doubt about it, but there has been a surge of this female fronted, synth laden, messy-punk hybrid for a while. What sets them apart is the energy. If so much comes through via computer speakers imagine them live. It's probably a snarling, writhing, loud, feedback-driven success. It's probably one for the faux-fashionista's who clung so hard to the Horrors to sink their teeth into; the type of music messy haired individuals with amazing shoes and a penchant for brooding will like- but finally getting it right with the music. Lead singer Callaghan has finally provided us with a rock icon for our generation; the Poly Styrene we needed before Adele or someone became the voice of the disenfranchised youth.

"Mackerel Sky" sounds like someone has grabbed early 60s-psych or the Beatles "Benefit of Mr.Kite" and roughed it up a bit. Mugged it's cash but left its purse. Industrial size noises pipe up and down as the odd-pop lyrics wind over the top (with eerie yet by now expected shrieks).

Absolutely brilliant yet discordant music providing pulsing, writhing, odd and fantastic noise.

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