Poor pacing mars My Life With The thrill Kill Kult show
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL
With Instant Folk Death.
The Paradise, July 11, 9 pm.
By RICK ROOS
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED AT the Paradise last Thursday night. The club, accustomed to showcasing local talent and up-and-coming alternative acts, was the site of a post-apocalyptic, 1970s-throwback industrial show as Wax Trax stalwarts My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult blew into town and proceeded to put on a poorly-paced but infectious show.
The band, one of the pioneers of the new industrial dance sound popularized
by Meat Beat Manifesto, Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb, left the crowd dazed and in awe after their 100-minute performance. It was evident that the show was meant to hype their new release, Sexplosion, as nearly half of the show's material was drawn from that disk alone. Songs such as "International Sin Set" and the title cut came off as retro-disco meets sonic industrial boom.
The rest of the material came from the group's first release, I See Good Spirits, I See Bad Spirits, and their album of last year, Confessions of a Knife. Overall, the songs were catchy, and the musicianship was excellent (with a minimum of pre-recorded tapes, quite a feat for an industrial band). Still, as the show dragged on, the novelty of the material from Sexplosion began to wear thin. The band seemed uninterested and too prerehearsed, unable to blend spontaneity with their fresh, thunderous music.
The band displayed a series of bizarre, almost surreal visual images on stage. At one point, the band piled on to the tiny stage a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, three backup vocalists, a bartender (yes, band members were treated to drinks prepared by their own personal bartender during the show), and a six-foot beast with a mutilated head and one arm reaching toward the audience. This imagery continued as the backup vocalists appeared in skimpy, colorful outfits which a member of the audience near me termed "early Times Square harlot attire." This fantastic display of lunacy captivated and mesmerized the audience as the show began to wind down.
Nevertheless, the biggest shift of momentum occurred when the band launched into its current single, "Sex on Wheels." The song, like last year's "Kooler than Jesus," has delicately crossed over from college radio stations, to dance clubs, to becoming an alternative hit. The crowd took to the song like water to a sponge and erupted into a dancing frenzy. The frenzy became even more heightened with the band's signature tune, "A Daisy Chain for Satan." The song, with its clever mix of samples and crashing drum beat, pummeled the audience with every beat.
The set closer was a lesser known B-side to "A Daisy Chain for Satan," a song about sex entitled "Cuz It's Hot." The song took an entirely new, ferocious direction as it built up for nearly 10 minutes before a vehement, cacophonous ending. The encore, although a bit anti-climactic, drew from other fan favorites such as last year's single, "The Days of Swine and Roses," boasting its odd refrain of "Christian zombie vampires, I am the father, the father of nothing."
On the whole, the concert was a mixed bag. Uneven pacing and dragging songs in the early portions robbed the audience of what would have otherwise been a triumphant, exuberant show.
Also worth noting was the show's opening act, Instant Folk Death, a warped individual with an acoustic guitar. The crowd, most of whom were expecting the original opening band, Boston industrial favorites Big Catholic Guilt, were, to put it mildly, not very taken with Mr. Folk Death. While his liberal ravings about the president and current events impressed some, other were bored, uninterested or busy trying to think of new ways to heckle this man who basically was in the right place at totally the worst time.