EASY KILL come from Manchester, England. Band members include Theo Tobias, Ronan Clowes, Alex Howes, Andrew Keaveney, and Thomas Short. ‘Phantom Pain’, their first release on Fierce Panda, taken from their debut album, ‘Melanscholar‘, released in 2017.
The earnest alt-rock outfit takes influence from the likes of Radiohead and perhaps a touch of Sigur Ros. Since forming in 2013 the group released two EP’s. ‘Already Entitled’ (2015), with ‘Sermons’ (2016) – both critically well-received, with the latter achieving widespread airplay.
The EASY KILL sound half-jokingly labeled ‘doom-pop’; a term which, by and large highlights the duality underpinning their music. Wherein quiet thoughtful lulls are followed by louder moments of uplift or down-spiral.
Chaos then clarity. The excitement and fear of being alive.
Given these points, ‘Phantom Pain‘, an intensely complex three-and-a-half minute piece, should come as no surprise. An unfathomably lovely record Melanscholar comes with its spectral, synthetic layers and perplexed vocals; modern and maudlin, like a woeful Foals blended with sad-faced post-Alt-J japery.
This intellectual angsty theme was carefully honed on Easy Kill’s previous releases, as has been noted.
Ghost In The Machine
But it hits a whole new creative apogee with the ‘Melansholar‘ album project. EASY KILL runs with the concept of life in the afterlife. Or, in their own words…
‘Melanscholar’ follows the journey of a lost soul, trying to find its bearings in the afterlife. The story, in effect an allegory about growing up and learning to adapt to circumstances outside of your control. The more Melanscholar can glean about what keeps it in this strange limbo, the greater its chance of passing through.
“The album was recorded entirely at home. Dynamic and cohesive musically, supporting the narrative, unstable yet persevering. The songs ebb and flow to match shifts in mood and place.
To ensure the album’s message remains not only ubiquitous but also accessible, the band broadened its sonic arsenal. Using more atmospheric, warm and electronic sounds than before.
Ultimately they seek to immerse the listener in the unworldly landscape their ghost inhabits…
RIYL: Elbow x The National, Beach House, Interpol, To Kill A King