‘Super groups’ aren’t really that super at all are they? If you think about it (and I suppose this is subjective, though I’m definitely right) I can’t think of a single ‘super group’ that has bettered all of the bands its members were previously in, I mean, sure The Postal Service beat Dntel, but not Death Cab, Audioslave are arguably better than Soundgarden, but they don’t touch Rage Against the Machine, and Journey have nothing on Santana. Are Kill Murray to follow the same path then? Destined to lie forever in the shadow of Dial F, Phantom Theory or 50ft Panda? From the first listen of their debut EP A Drug To Shake You Up, I’d wager not.
First track ‘Laser’, released earlier this year as a free download, builds from a subtle guitar line through the soaring, drawled vocals of the chorus “days are hazy, nights are crazy” and on into a massive outro, bass line driving through the guitar riff refrain – swollen with effects and distortion and surrounded by crashing drums. Throughout, vocalist Gus Rodgers’ lazy vocals add to the grungy nineties-American feel of the EP, especially on ‘Detroit’, which, with its big power chord chorus and determined rhythm section, would have sounded right at home in, not Detroit, but maybe Seattle, 15 or so years ago.
‘Superhuman’ opens with a slightly dodgy sounding synth, that doesn’t really come to fruition until the chorus. Kill Murray’s genre motives are evident – synth based grunge, and while the grunge part is spot on, occasionally the synth is rather too stark. Final track ‘Miracle, Man’ is probably the least immediate of the four (which is not to criticise, it’s firmly a grower). The bass, although justly prominent throughout, particularly stands out here as integral to the verse melody, while contiguous guitar nuances add depth to the song as a whole.
With such a ‘super group’, what it often comes down to is whether they would get so much attention if the respective members weren’t from already established bands, does quality speak before reputation? In Kill Murray’s case, it’s a resolute yes.
Released on 21st April 2012 available to purchase here.