Album Review

Dazzling Killmen – “Recuerda” – [Skin Graft Records]

Naysayer   5/3/2015   A Library, CD

Dazzling Killmen’s “Recuerda” is a collection of previous harder to find Dazzling Killmen releases from a combination of 7 inch singles, 7 inch splits and a live cassette release. It is an interesting review of the post punk/math rock band’s output from 1991 to 1996 and a really clear example of how the recorder/producer of a collection can make or break a sound. The first three cuts are recorded by the notorious Steve Albini. It’s rough, raw and aggressive style work to propel the listener into the groups sound. The third track is even a cover of Public Image’s (PIL) “Poptones”, a stunner of a cover to be sure. The hypnotic original is turned into a crunchy, grinding version which adds much to the already strong original. Tracks 4 to 13 are from a live set recorded at Lounge Ax in Chicago. These tracks really show the listener, or at least me, what a strong, powerful group DK were live. Nick Sakes pelting vocals ride through his and Tim Garrigan’s relentless guitar changes, while Darin Gray on bass and Blake Flemming on drums hold down the fort, so to speak, as well as rip it up. Wonderful energy. Track 14 is the band trying to get some Cub Scouts to say “dazzling killmen”. Tracks 15 to 19 were less interesting to me. Maybe overproduced, too clean. I don’t know, but the energy is lost. You can tell the difference by listening to two different versions of “Numb”, one recorded live and one in the later tracks. Energy versus ???. Well, you decide. I’ll definitely be hitting up 3/4’s of this compelling work.

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