Come Ride The Wave: Kill City Creeps Coming Back to Newcastle

Kill City Creeps come to Newcastle

Image courtesy of Reckoning Entertainment

Compelled. It is the only word that can describe why I am writing this. After all I am a fine art critic, not a music critic. This review stems from a brief encounter I had with the band Kill City Creeps at the Great Northern Hotel last year. They were supporting The Snowdroppers so my attention was initially elsewhere. Soon, however, I took notice. Their smug attitude and aloof stage presence accentuated the good humored piss-take in the theatre of their performance.

This four-piece band comprises Daniel Darling on rhythm guitar and vocals, Knives on lead guitar, Mon Cherie on the drums and Nina B on the organ. Since their ‘Unearthing’ on Triple J, their debut five tracker was mixed by Lemonhead’s, Nic Dalton, including a hidden track, ‘Drivin Sideways’ written by Merrell Frankhauser. The band’s profile states they are a garage rock n roll band from Sydney, Australia who like Fuzz, Organ, Crash n Bash Drums and Tape Hill.

Enchanting and passionate, the sound of Kill City Creeps is enigmatic Rockabilly Punk. Polished in their tightness, they maintain an edgy vibe. Their list of influences reads like a who’s-who of the past five generations, yet selective enough to show their vision. Sounds from the mid-50’s to today with an emphasis on 60’s garage bands like The Seeds, 70’s, Lou Reed, The Cramps, The Fuzztones and modern day bands such as Rocket Science and The Datsuns. I also detect The Doors, The Clash and the B52’s. The result is appropriation, perhaps homage, at its finest, culminating in a sound that is all their own.

Lead singer Darling, has that same sexy smarm reminiscent of the Violent Femme’s Gordan Gano, and The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor Taylor. Mon Cherie has the Baby Doll Rockabilly look going with her bright red lips, however her feminine front is stripped by her ability to create thumping tribal surf rhythms. Knives is like a dominatrix with her guitar. Despite her petite size, she bends, handles and melds the sound that emanates from her instrument. Then there is Nina B. The quiet achiever, who, without pretension, looks like she has just gone down the road for a quart of milk & creates the all-important lightheartedness of their sound through her keyboard harmonies.

Together, their music forms a wave. It pulls you along as it builds bigger and better with repetitive tribal drumming. Encompassed in the gentle rocking, it comforts you. The force increasing as you glide, content in the knowledge the wave is solid, yet not quite predictable, as you await the edge. A previous Triple J review sums it up:

“A bastard sound, somewhat reminiscent of a 60’s psychedelia and 70’s glam, but with an unhinged, swampy demeanour that is very much parentless. In truth the enigma can’t be described. It can only be felt.”

So come on, RIDE THE WAVE.

Kill City Creeps play at Newcastle’s Great Northern Hotel this Saturday, 25 February from 8pm. Free entry. More info.

Laura Wilson is a teacher of Art History/ Theory and Professional Practice at the Newcastle Art School, TAFE, Hunter Institute. She is an artist, art enthusiast, and Newbie (20 years) Novocastrian. Originally from high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado USA, this former skier has turned beach lover and triathlete. Her most recent art has been focussed on installations with an interest in modernity — modern society, modern materials, modern communication, and how technology is changing the world we live in. You can follow her on Twitter or drop into the Front Room Gallery, Newcastle Art School.

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