Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8.5 Release Date:2015-02-23

It’s with hanging-head embarrassment that I missed Krill’s debut album from 2013, Lucky Leaves, but I am pleased to say I am all over their follow-up, A Distant Fist Unclenching.

The Boston trio like to keep their sound distinctly dark, shifty and off-kilter but it’s not without a heap of strong melody, taught rhythmical basslines and Jonah Furman’s Gordon Gano-like vocal delivery makes for a rich and distinct blend of under the radar arrangement. After a couple of listens to the album, it’s fair to say I was simply in love with their stripped-back, lean sound. It’s not reinvented the wheel, merely captured a band virtuoso-packed with instantly listenable songs.

Opener ‘Phantom’ is instinctively visceral, steeped in post-punk and threadbare minimalism. Furman gets his teeth stuck into the song immediately: “A wicked and twisted phantom comes to you in the night/ but all you see is your reflection in its huge unblinking eye... And the phantom keeps on coming and the phantom won’t relent”.   

What is endearing about 'Phantom' is it’s almost as if the vocals and music were cut and pasted together. It seems like they shouldn’t sit together but the unhinged time-signatures effortlessly embroiled suck you in. It's juicy lead track that really sets the tone for the rest of the album.

‘Foot’ is much more abrasive and cathartic, mixed with a brilliant slice of stop-start guitar-play, but keeps within their overall dark musical shades. ‘Brain Problem’ sees the band in semi-rock-out mode and the sounds of Joy Division echo loud and clear throughout.

‘Torturer’ has a beautiful early-Cure throbbing bass completed by some Fugazi-like roomy drum-patterns, while Furman asks us: “Is it time to back inside?” At times, he sounds like Black Francis on Pixies' Doolittle, but adopts his own nuance of the quiet/loud shouty delivery style. 

A Distant Fist Unclenching is an album which is uncompromising but breathes in a huge amount of high-end influencers. The clever trick the band has pulled off is its ability to take what they consider to be the best bits and put them out there in their own idiosyncratic style. 

A very easy album to be absorbed in and one that shines effortlessly from start to finish.

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