With their debut LP, Kill Matilda kicks zombie ass and takes no prisoners. Punk & Roll pulses through their veins like a narcotic substance, and frontwoman Dusty Exner is screaming like it’s the only thing keeping her alive. It’s a performance that makes her the center of attention for the whole record. The band bangs out solid rock riffs, every once in a while tapping into southern-fried hardcore grooves and nearly memorable guitar solos, but Exner is what makes this band exciting. Her voice rides a dark rock steed, telling bloody stories of nightmare lives. From the dark shadow that envelopes the murder-heavy “Geisha With a Switchblade” to the Cranberries-sounding “Pomegranite” to the heavy metal of “PBJ,” Exner’s voice goes from clean vibrato to throat-tearing screams on a dime, wrestling for your attention even in the few moments when the instruments get a little bland. When the band is strongest behind her, the result is like a keg of dynamite; red-hot guitar tone soaks the self-destruction anthem “Already Dead” as Exner belts out line after line, constantly increasing her intensity.
While the album loses a bit of its initial bite towards the end (there’s a questionable punk rock waltz in closer “Test Drive of Neurotica”) this merry gang of West Coast rockers definitely have the guts to push their sound outside of three-chord punk, and despite missteps, I Want Revenge is a solid record from a promising new band. And when the zombie apocalypse comes, who better to fight with?
Already Dead [audio http://killerbabytomatoes.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/02-already-dead.mp3]