Killer Kern

If It Kills You Infinite Hum LP

When I was in high school I loved QUICKSAND’s Slip. I heard one word from this band, and I was immediately transported to that time. As we proceed, IF IT KILLS YOU plays with even more feel-good melancholy, adding pitches of FUGAZI bark, CAVE IN bite, and HOT ROD CIRCUIT companionship. Some of the more descending chords of A MINOR FOREST come through as well, with the post-hardcore nodes of that first WEEZER album. That’s a bit much, but it must be there for a reason, not trying to edit—let’s just say HOT WATER MUSIC, that flows much more casually, with emotional messages and irreverent compositions. IF IT KILLS YOU is not trying to kill you, but they’re not trying to save you, either. You’ll figure it out, as you concentrate on them more and more each song. IF IT KILLS YOU comes to us from Bakersfield. And I feel like it could go either way living in Bakersfield. Stay safe, stay strong, IF IT KILLS YOU. Into it.

Kevin Man in the Van LP

Bakersfield, California stoner grunge trio—does it make any sense at all that the opener “Prick” comes off like UNSANE through a surf filter? It doesn’t make sense, but it grabbed me and I listened with eager ears as these dudes dished out heavy tunes about getting fucked up and being alive. That surf thing I thought I heard never came back, but instead KEVIN just bashed the shit out of seven pieces of early ’90s heavy sludge.

Niner Niner Destructo LP

Some poppy rocking indie stuff from Bakersfield going on here. I’m hearing a mix of SUPERCHUNK, MCRACKINS, and HOT SNAKES. A little garage recklessness in this sonic mess, but it’s somehow tuneful! Good heavy production too. Digging this a lot!

Niner Niner The Muck LP

Upon first listen, my thoughts were that this wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t without its faults though, as I started to think that every song was just maybe a hair too long and could have been trimmed—at a point, some of them went on so long that I wasn’t sure if it was the same song or a new one. As time went on, the singer’s voice also started to wear on me. It’s a very ’80s glam metal-sounding voice. Then the epiphany came: this in fact was very much a weird amalgamation of ’80s glam metal and generic alterna-rock that I’m sure would appeal to some group of human beings, but I am certainly not one of them.

Still Missing Still Missing LP

Desert-baked boogie crunch from California, reminiscent of KYUSS or KVERLERTAK. The songs feature quality heavy rock riffs, sludgy start/stop sections, and sung, hooky vocals with back-ups. Good-time heavy tunes for the roadtrips or campfires in your life. The production is beautiful, with big drums and immaculate guitar tones. The lyrics are not especially sophisticated; take “Think About It” for example: “She said to go for it, go for it / I want to go for it / She said to wait for it, wait for it / I don’t want to wait for it, wait for it.” Similarly, “AOC” contains the lines, “She makes me feel right / She makes me feel white.” There is not much more context to give than that, so make of it what you will. Like the kids say, it gives me the ick for a few different reasons.

The Binges Bunny / Be You For Halloween 7″

Fuck, this blows. Total aged Silverlake hipsters from like fifteen years ago playing mega-annoying alterna/horror rock. I could totally see suffering through crap like this at someplace like The Echo or Silverlake Lounge and, surprise! That’s where their Facebook page says I can go to soak up this masterwork. The opening track is an ode to a “bad bunny” (!?) with the extra whiny chorus of “bunny cut his ears off” again and again; I’m sure this a metaphor for society’s evils or some garbage that’s way over this guy’s head. Right. Well, that’s the good one. “Be You For Halloween” is an unlistenable modern rock garbage pit about identity theft with a horror twist. The singer kinda sounds like an uninteresting Mike Patton and the guitar on the first track has a nice tone—that’s about all that’s nice that I can say. Kill me. Give me COVID now.