Kill Committee - The Things We Nearly Saw - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Kill Committee - The Things We Nearly Saw

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2018-03-30
Kill Committee - The Things We Nearly Saw
Kill Committee - The Things We Nearly Saw

The attention to detail is the first thing that you notice about The Things We Nearly Saw by Reading’s Kill Committee (especially if you get the vinyl issue). It is a lovingly-created, conceptual piece with two fine short stories from guitarist Matt Dyson and lovely, burnt orange artwork by Dorothy Cronshaw.

A two chord Television-like riff from Dyson starts Blind Lead The Blind, before Danny James’ Shoe-gazey guitar comes in followed by his strong vocal. The middle eight guitar solo is something of a structural rarity these day, especially as it leads into an emotive vocal ending. James and Dyson’s contrasting guitar styles are also at the heart of Field Unfit. Dyson is Barrett-esque , a solid Tele-playing rhythm man. James is more of a pedal hound – part 80s psych, part Shoegaze. Behind them (or alongside them), Mikey Sherwill is a bass player who likes to switch between rhythm and melody; part accompaniment, part lead - like McCartney or Foxton. With all this going on, Tom Winchester tends to stays solid on the drums. He does bring a lovely skip to Duck and Cover where another instrumental middle eight leads into another emotive vocal ending. It’s a fine tactic that I haven’t heard used that often. Green Lanes is much more basic structurally and is held together by a Sherwill bass-line which leaves just enough room for a reverb and delay assault from James. A Killing Joke-like guitar line starts A Silent War. This is quite a poppy moment from a band that tend to mope around the darker edges of 60s, 80s and 90s Psychedelia. Actors is even more catchy, surprising considering the disconnection of the lyric (‘this is just a half-life’). It is just as well that the tune is so strong because the sheer amount of ideas vying for attention beneath it might capsize a weaker vessel. Stars Don’t Shine is a good showcase for James’ strong voice, a proper singer in a genre where singers are often guitarists trying to hide in the mix.  A glimpse of 60s Psych starts Lost Highway, mainly coming from Sherwill and Dyson who often inhabit the same area of the sound. On top of this, James brings an almighty wall of trebly noise. Another Love Like Blood guitar line ushers in Disease. It is soon joined by a Jam bass-line. The instrumental section is another showcase for all four instrumentalists. Each with a contrasting part, there are no passengers. The final track is also the longest (it’s just over four minutes long so we’ll call it ‘Epic’). 60s Film Star is slightly more restrained pace and arrangement-wise. Winchester introduces a military edge to the drumming. Spoken word sections also contribute to the sense that this song introduces a new level of light and shade to the album. James’ lead line is boosted to uncomfortable levels at the ending, destroying all other sound.

The Things We Nearly Saw is a well thought out piece of work in all aspects – packaging, sound, concept. Kill Committee have worked hard to combine their disparate elements, choosing Dark Psychedelic Pop as the battleground on which their 60s, 80s and 90s influences will duke it out. Occasionally it can be quite a precarious ride where one player possibly could have stepped back. But a wealth of ideas is never something to worry about. A fine album that rewards repeat listening and also promises much for the future.

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