1) Needle And Thread
3) Live To See
5) Holding Out For A Hero (Bonnie Tyler Cover)
6) Party Harder, Party Starter
One of the best and most interesting things about the horrorpunk genre of music, is that it really encompasses a ton of styles and genres. You have some bands who lean towards the pop-punk style, some who lean towards the psychobilly sound, and even those who go more towards the hardcore route. The openness of the genre is something that helps make horrorpunk more unique. Kill Matilda is a band that has been around since 2009, but I just recently discovered during my usual weekly searches for any new bands that could potentially be covered on the site. And while not what most would immediately call “horrorpunk”, the band showcases many attributes and a clear love of the genre.
Having toured relentlessly across Canada and the US over the past several years, the band has seen some lineup changes as is standard for most bands with a hard DIY-ethic, but the foundation of the band has always been guitarist/vocalist Dusty Exner and her now-husband, bassist Mykel Exner. The current line-up is rounded out by drummer Marcus Luk. With the release of their newest album, Songs Of Survival, the band is currently donating 50% of the proceeds made on the Kill Matilda BandCamp page
to help with the sponsoring of a Syrian refugee coming to Canada! For more details on this particular endeavor I will point you to Dusty Exner‘s Official Blog, but suffice to say, you are quite obviously helping a great cause by purchasing Songs Of Survival, but all that aside, we still need to talk about the music you would be purchasing, don’t we?
Beginning with the first single released from the album, Needle And Thread kicks things off giving you a great idea of what you’re in for, all while the powerful vocals of Dusty sing of bringing a lover back from the dead. The song is fast and catchy, and you immediately sense that the band made the right choice releasing the tune as a single. It is the most “horror” based of all the tracks on Songs Of Survival and a great way to start off the album. Nostradamus is a fast and raucous punk track and I can see it being a favorite if added to a live setlist.
Live To See is another fast punky track destined to be a favorite in any club the band plays. The band changes tune a little for Sanctuary, which, in my estimation could be the song that would break the band through into mainstream success. If any song on this album would get played on rock radio, it’s this one. And I don’t mean that as an insult in any way, because it is the track on the album that I have listened to the most. There is something about the melody, especially during the chorus that grabs you and doesn’t let go, as well as highlighting Dusty‘s vocals. For me, it’s one of those rare tracks that just comes across as perfect. If you plan to introduce anybody to Kill Matilda this is the track to use.
Following up on Sanctuary is a bit of a tall task, but the band breaks out a cover that doesn’t seem expected. Covering the Bonnie Tyler “classic” Holding Out For A Hero does what all cover songs aspire to, paying homage to the original while also making it their own. Adding a punk edge and style to a song written by the king of overblown rock ballads, Jim Steinman, is something I’ve always wanted (although I’ve always wanted a cover of one of the Steinman-written Meat Loaf songs) and Kill Matilda destroy it.
The album comes to a close with another fast in-your-face track in Party Harder, Party Starter. It’s a perfect close to an album that flies by and leaves you wanting more. The song even includes a moment that feels like it has ended, and comes back with one last attack on your eardrums.
The obvious downfall as is the case with many albums of this sort is that it doesn’t feel long enough, but at the same time it also succeeds in leaving you wanting more. Kill Matilda is undoubtedly a band to keep an eye on, and I know I will be anxiously anticipating any new music that comes from this Canadian trio. One can never have enough female fronted horrorpunk music!