They say that New York is the city that never sleeps, but perhaps that is owing to the music it churns out. From KISS to the New York Dolls, any NYC dweller would find it an unforgiving task trying to drift away into the land of nod when immersed in such a history of musical procreation. Not quite glam metal and not quite punk, but with lashings of attitude from either camp and music loud enough to continue the vampirical nature of the city, heavy-set NYC rockers Killcode are now striding onto the scene. Already boasting international fan pages and a touring hitchhike with Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, it would appear that Killcode is parading with their compasses set firmly towards that elusive pot of gold at the end of the music industry rainbow – and current release The Answer will not point any farther away from such success.
Ominously distant, title track and opener “The Answer” implodes with the devil’s groan in the form of a delectably heavy riff. Brutally forceful and laced with the tortured screams of vocalist Tom Morrissey, The Answer opens with the ricochets of hell’s bell chimes that adorn the air with a sinister chill. Entering the room with a nippier riff, backboned by the pummelling strikes of drummer Rob Noxious, “Show Me” draws out involuntary taps of feet and bobs of heads. Expansive and riddled with intertwining textures, “Show Me” is fortified with the same glimmers of musical determination one might find in any ambitious garage band fledglings.
After that, Killcode returns to darker alleys with the thunderous “Shot”. Encompassing the drop of a lead-laden riff from dizzying heights, along with the interspersion of gnarled guitar monologues and gruff vocals from Morrissey, “Shot” is an enslaving addictive highlight of The Answer. “Kickin’ and Screamin’” flirts with sounds from a more classic repertoire, employing the roll of Foghat’s “Slow Ride” and the endearingly neanderthal-like gang vocals that any live crowd would take pleasure in reciting.
Across the width of The Answer, Killcode proves to be particularly adept at offering a highly distinctive pick’n’mix of influences, as evidenced in “Pick Your Side”, which recruits the lonely grunge of Soundgarden and the unflinching guts of Monster Magnet. Meanwhile, closer “Put It Off” sinks deep into countrified marshes, a gently haunting acoustic track that strips back the crunch of The Answer and lays bare the bones of Killcode, culminating in a rainbow shine of sprightly acoustic guitar and harmonica. Although finishing on a track that is isolated from the bustle of city life, Killcode’s The Answer further entrenches NYC’s defence against The Sandman.