Kill Hannah / Until There’s Nothing Left Of Us / August 01, 2006
Believer / 04. Black Poison Blood / 11. Scream
Kill Hannah has managed to finagle a rather popular sprint across the media after being signed with Atlantic Records, but they have still managed to elude me every time I turn on the radio. Being a local Chicago band, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing much of their music before their major record label signing, and I will dare say that signing with Atlantic was one of the best things they could have done. The first song I was introduced to was by a friend of my sister’s, “I Wanna Be a Kennedy.” It was a catchy tune that lacked instrumentation and the power it needed to drive home the somewhat lackluster lyrics. But then I heard “Don’t Die Wondering” and I was pretty much sold. That song, with its rather drole lyrics repeating over and over again just worked in that wonderful way only music can against the backing of the surreal, stoner rock vibe. It remains one of the theme songs to my youth, urging adolescents not to regret a single decision, or maybe just to seize the moment; go ahead, tell her she’s so breathtaking.
When I bought For Never & Ever, the CD repeatedly took spins in my radio. It was the constant humdrum background to many of my late night pondering, employing rock with ambient, dreamy synthscapes. I couldn’t wait to hear what else they had to offer, and needless to say, Until There’s Nothing Left Of Us exceeded every bit of my expectations.
The album begins with an intro that at once grabs your attention, soothing you with a lullaby that instantly turns dangerous and altogether creepy when the subtle richness of guitars eludes to the rest of the disc’s contents. The second song, “Believer,” screams radio hit as the delicate synth melody works hand in hand with standard rock instruments. Mat Devine’s glossy, somewhat girlish vocals, are just as powerful as always, if not more so. The flourishing sounds coming through the speakers showcase the band’s maturation, and on closer inspection, betray any semblance of a single filler track as the crisp tracks permeate every stereotype of an upbeat, whiny, post-rock band…in a good way.
Yes, it’s apparent how much influence the label must had have over this band, but I think that sentiment lies more so in the production than the actual compositions. Somber, yet hopeful, the album is catchy and provoking at the same time. Not so much acoustic, save for “Under The Milky Way,” the album sort of reminds me of Three Days Grace, not in genre or even sound, but in passionate dedication to a single cause that runs throughout each song, a sort of unifying theme, with minute exceptions. However, Kill Hannah still manages to make each song sound unique, presenting something new to the table at each spin. In fact, one of the most surprising tracks is “Scream,” with a solemn, yet beautiful piano beginning I never would have dreamed would be present on one of their songs, but is, and yes please, thank you, come again.
I could have done without the outro, though. Nevertheless, the band speaks for itself on this album and with it, I hope to see plenty of more airplay from the band.