See the cover, above, well that is what the first track, ‘Highway Mind’, of this debut EP from Buenos Aires garage psych band Kill West sounds like. Yes there’s a bit of surf rock going on in there, there’s a fair bit of doom drone, there’s a great sense of speed and there is reverberation, soooo much reverberation!
It is very easy for someone not from the continent to put all the South American bands together under one title, perhaps ‘Latin Psych’ or some such. But that would be doing them a complete disservice, so while bands from Chile such as Follakzoid, Holydrug Couple, LA Hell Gang (and so on…) are ploughing their own furrows, so too are these Argentinian reverb merchants who have taken some quite diverse elements and put them together in a quite refreshing way, in places sounding like Wooden Ships doing a Cramps cover – and who wouldn’t like to hear that.
Elsewhere their sound reminds me of a coming together of Holy Wave and Psychic Ills especially on ‘Freedom Ride’, while ‘Lazy Eye’ has that slower heaviness of such as Cult of Dom Keller.
Reviewing the EP for Backseatmafia when it originally came out last year Arun Kendall said:
“A dirty rumbling wall of attitude introduces us to Kill West, a psych band coming out of Argentina, with the opening track of their eponymously titled EP, “Highway Mind”. It has the laid back louche feel of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the snarling guitar attack of The Cramps.
“Second track, “Freedom Ride” offers no respite other than to ramp up the proceedings – here collecting a little Jesus and Mary Chain and The Dandy Warhols along the way with the keys proving a more noticeable underlying bedrock to the wall of noise guitars.
“”Lazy Eye” buries the vocals way back in the mix – more so than the previous tracks – but you can sense the sweet vocal melodies that play deep below the reverb-soaked guitars. The EP closes with “Silver Trees”, a song that lulls you in with a synth opening that soon warps into a rolling, thundering twin guitar onslaught.”
So why am I reviewing it again now? Well the great news for record fans is that this EP is now available on vinyl, the debut release from the very promising Drone Rock Records (you can hear the full EP on this link too). What is more there is an extra track exclusive to this release, “Signs”: an eight and a half minute monster of a song which is very much worth owning. The record is nicely packaged and is a limited run of 250 on split red and black vinyl.
This, then, is a really assured first step for both Kill West and Drone Rock Records, and I really look forward to hearing what they both come up with next.