1) Sticks & Stones
2) Lurking In The Dark
4) Of Cats & Demons
5) Straight To Hell
7) Feuer & Eis
8) Deep Black Underground
9) St. Tropez
10) Black Skinny Jeans
11) Yeah Yeah Yeah
12) Red Sweet Red
As promised in our recent DeadTube coverage of Sticks & Stones, I’ve now had the chance to take a good listen to Kiss & Hell, the new album from Austrian horrorpunks Kitty In A Casket. I’ve been a fan of the band since first hearing their debut album, 2009’s Horror Express. Since then I’ve followed the band’s career with great interest. As longtime readers of the site will surely recall, I have never been a huge fan of rockabilly, or any of its many offshoots, in which Kitty In A Casket are strongly focused. Despite my personal feelings on the subgenre, KIAC have steadfastly released great album after great album over the past 7 years, consistently topping themselves with each new release. The band has been hyping up the recent release of Kiss & Hell for several months, leaving fans wondering if the album would live up to the hype in addition to the expectations built upon their back catalogue.
The album begins with the aforementioned first single from the album, Sticks & Stones. The band has spent several years establishing their sound, and wisely choose not to mess with a good thing. Both Sticks & Stones and Lurking In The Dark start the album off with a bang, leading to what may be the best Kitty In A Casket song, not only on this album, but of their entire back catalogue. Bloodlust takes everything that has ever worked with the band and their music, and seemingly perfects it. For years, I’ve always had a hard time pinpointing what I would call the definitive Kitty In A Casket song, or at the very least my favorite. Whether it had been Trash Talkers (from 2011’s Back To Thrill) or In Blood We Trust (the opening track from 2013’s Bittersweet) I’ve never been able to say which song is the best. But, even with how great those tracks are, Bloodlust outdoes them all. If you are ever trying to introduce KIAC to someone has never heard them before, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better track.
Now, given that I pretty much just told you that Bloodlust is arguably the best Kitty In A Casket song ever recorded, you would imagine that the rest of the album would not be able to stack up, and while technically correct, that doesn’t mean the rest of the album is a slouch. In fact, the band continue riding the momentum built on the first three tracks and successfully maintain it. Through the middle of the album tracks like Of Cats & Demons and Nightmare continue to prove that Kitty In A Casket know that they have a winning formula and will exploit it to the fullest. The end of Nightmare even includes a humorous moment that helps show listeners how much fun the band clearly had with recording the album.
Beginning on 2011’s Back To Thrill, the band has included a track on each album in their native German, usually to great effect, and Feuer & Eis continues that trend. Returning back to English, Deep Black Underground stands out as one of the stronger tracks on the album’s back end. Much like earlier in the album, tracks such as St. Tropez and Yeah Yeah Yeah ride a wave of catchiness that can sometimes be hard to find on albums these days. Red Sweet Red serves as the last “fast” track on the album, and could easily serve as a great album closer, but the band strips everything away and wisely chooses to close the album with the acoustic ballad Gone, truly showcasing the vocal talent of frontwoman Kitty Casket. One can easily argue that the best way to determine if an album’s final track is successful is if it leaves you wanting more, and Gone fits that bill.
Kiss & Hell can easily be determined as a definitive album for Kitty In A Casket, as the band has spent several years and albums honing their craft and sound, with everything seemingly coming together throughout the albums duration. Some may be disappointed by the lack of experimentation contained within, but as I’ve already mentioned, if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. Whether you are a longtime fan or are completely new to the band, I can’t see many people walking away from Kiss & Hell disappointed in any way.
Kiss & Hell is currently available through outlets such as iTunes or Groove Music, or wherever else you choose to find your digital music. Be sure to check out the Official Kitty In A Casket website and Like the band’s Official Facebook page to stay up to date on all the band’s latest happenings!