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Kill The Client Escalation of Hostility

Kill The Client - Escalation of Hostility
01. Defend
02. Worker Ant Syndrome
03. In God You Thrust
04. Illumination
05. Bloodline
06. Riot Perfume
07. Sedated Youth MP3
08. Liberty or Death
09. Killing Fields
10. Gridlock
11. Scene Queen
12. Paranoid Patriot
13. Commander In Thief
14. Decorated Dunce
15. Negative One
2005 Willowtip Records

Reviewed by: Kirby Unrest   //   Published: 2/19/2006

When it comes to music in general, I'm willing to give anything a shot. Regardless of genre, era or scene, I'll put in on, check it out and give my honest review of the complete package (music, lyrics, layout) and while that opinion might not be set in stone eternally, it was at the time I listened to it and meditated on the whole offering. At nearly 27 years of age, I cannot say that I am an "old dude" in the extreme music scene (far from it), but with my exposure to various styles of underground output for the last 15 years, and a lot of time invested in researching and understanding its roots and history, I feel pretty adept at throwing in my two cents and stating how I feel any given band stacks up to the institutes, and how truly progressive or regressive the content of their output may be. Having plowed through thousands upon thousands of recordings, I definitely have pretty straight lined categories of what I adore/abhor, but overall am pretty open to pulling down those barriers and standards to most everything out there. For me, this has often come up in the grind/crust/powerviolence/ "thrash"/whatever you may want to call it scene (yes, I group all those together and no, I don't care if you do or not) more than a few times I'll be totally honest; I can't stand about 90% of the bands in this subgenre. I'm not going to debate the greats of grind (but we all know who they are and you probably now hate them because they have more than 100 fans) but the majority of what I hear just doesn't interest me for long and in a way, that's pretty much my sentiment towards most hardcore and metal bands these days. While I've never donned girl pants or leather spiked gaunlets, as the extreme cliche nature of the latter genres are, I also don't make my clothes out of dumpster finds or try to pay for shows in Doom patches. I enjoy lots of grind influenced bands, but when it comes to those that play pure grind, I find myself fairly bored and unimpressed. Yet, I have been digging two bands, coincidentally both from Texas and fairly new; one is Insect Warfare and the other is Kill The Client. Neither are exactly revolutionary in any way and definitely haven't gotten me more into grind, but truly deserve mention and interest.

KTC play fast, aggressive grind with plenty of blastbeats, chunky basslines and razor wire guitar, but also chuck in hearty servings of sludge metal, atmospheric doom and avant garde noise. And it really does make all the difference. The all out sensory assault is definitely prevalent on tunes such as "Defend," "Bloodline," "Illumination," and "Riot Perfume" which will have you ripping the sleeves from your jean jacket and doing stage dives off monitors all night. Nothing new and completely expected, but surely a lot of fun. Yet, KTC aren't afraid to slow things down and extract some huge riffs and massive sound in tracks like "Sedated Youth," "Killing Fields," and the album's closer "Negative One," which goes over the six minute mark. When mixed up with the short, sweet but savage nature of the rest of the material, it works well.

I suppose my major beef with grind has always been recording. I don't particularly enjoy records that have a studio polish so thick the CD/record slips out of your hands when trying to play it, but I also detest bargain bin sound. There is a world of difference between "raw" and complete and utter garbage, and I just don't think many bands have quite learned this distinction yet. Kill The Client get a good balance on Escalation of Hostility, with all the power contained but bursting at the seams, and the clarity necessary to fully appreciate such force. Bassist James Delgado helmed this effort, and I hope he will be in charge of future recordings, while the mix from D. Braxton Henry and the mastering job from grind heavyweight Scott Hull are noteworthy too.

The layout from Aaron Nichols gets the job done. That's about all I can say. It looks fine and fits the music well, but is quite similar in appearance to most grind records I've seen. I know that ideas are going to get recycled and whatnot, but this is as bad as metalcore bands covered in blood splatter, tough guy groups brandishing brass knuckles and the absolutely idiotic outpouring of hardcore bands with color schemes louder than a 1980's Nickelodeon kids show set and drawings of a platypus skateboarding off the Statute Of Liberty while eating pizza and holding a boombox...sorry, but I just can't deal with it.

On the same note, the lyrics are another troublesome spot for me. I definitely don't agree with some bands political stances or social views, but very few have impeded me from getting into the group. I have no problem with anyone speaking their mind on any given subject, so long as they have the knowledge to back it up. Like the cover art issue, it's not easy to really say something new about topics like war, workers rights, religion, education, and the various definitions of freedom and democracy. I don't expect to be astounded by the statements that spew from most albums released in the last 30 years or so, or even that invigorated. Yet, I still hope the choice of words, the personal slant, the element or urgency will be utilized, and while I'm glad they speak their minds, KTC don't have a whole lot of unique things here to say. I've heard enough bands cover the Bush administration and it rarely ever amounts to much more than "he lied, rich white male oligarchy, total Nazi, and no blood for oil" and it's just plain boring, as are most of the lyrics here. Their discourse on both the Illuminati and Catholic Church could have been really interesting, but isn't. Overall, I just don't find anything here that grabs me. The lyrics work perfectly with the music and I know it's hard to put a lot of ideas and big 75 cent words you gleaned from the Readers Digest Increase Your Word Power section into a 30 second song, but I feel the effort definitely could have been made. All in all though, I think the most revolutionary song, at least lyrically, is "Scene Queen" and that's only because I wouldn't expect to find such content here. Maybe on a Pitboss record though, because it's definitely not in line with largely PC fascist Profane Existence/Ebullition commie crowd this genre usually caters to. I recently interviewed KTC and I guess they are already being called sexist, and probably will be boycotted soon by the junior Andrea Dworkins and Gloria Steinems of the scene and I think that's pretty damn great, because such naysayers don't know the difference between sexism and honesty and I say that as a longtime student of Womens Studies and a state certified Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence counselor.

Bottom Line: Grind fans will eat up Escalation of Hostility; and those who enjoy a small percentage of this scene, like myself, will definitely find something to like here as well. If you are just getting into grind, consult the legendary texts first, but I think Kill The Client are well on their way to becoming one of that elite group of modern greats if the lyrics improve and they maintain the integrity of their sound. Keep your eye on the Lone Star state as well; lots of good stuff crawling out of the woodwork out there, with Escalation of Hostility helping to lead the pack.

dave_   posted 2/23/2006 1:31:44 PM
"nice story..tell it to readers digest" -Dave Mustaine.. HAHA, hilarious

good band..8/10
shaihulud2k1_   posted 2/22/2006 10:33:50 AM
Kirby_Unrest_   posted 2/21/2006 9:49:47 PM
Wow, I don't care what you little pee-on's think of my review. I know that it gets the point across. I've been in the scene for 15 years, I've been listening to burtal music for 15 f*cking years, you little piss ants got into it last year when you saw a killswitch video
notorious_dob_   posted 2/21/2006 4:48:33 PM
that was probably the worst review i ever read. webby... what happened here?
anonymous   posted 2/21/2006 2:01:07 PM
anyone notice that typo in like the first sentence? that was a typo right? "put in on" should have been put IT on, no? oh well, kirby is a f*cking idiot

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