Having ditched the violin and earlier style found in 2009’s self-titled debut, Kill It Kid seem to be embracing dirty southern blues in the newest album Feet Fall Heavy. Indeed, the visceral opener ‘You’re In My Blood’ announces the change unabashedly, and demonstrates that the band are better than ever embracing the almost violent nature that you might have originally expected from their name.
At only ten tracks, and thirty-five minutes long, Feet Fall Heavy is hardly an opus, and gets away with being unrelenting without becoming overbearing at all. Songs like ‘Wild And Wasted Waters’ practically sound like gospel choirs backing up Turpin’s powerful vocals, particularly when you consider lyrics such as “carry me on my mother’s prayers.”
Everything feels authentic beyond belief, particularly when you consider that the band are from Bath; not exactly a hub of American history. Samples of folklorist Alan Lomax interspersed throughout the record only add to this feeling that Kill It Kid have not only done their homework, but have vested interest in this whole musical background. The result is amazing tracks such as the powerful ‘Pray On Me’, in which Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward intertwine their vocals perfectly on top of stunning guitar work, much like The Dead Weather (or any of Jack White’s other work, presumably).
Things quiet down in ‘Dark Hearted Songbird’, keeping Feet Fall Heavy from becoming too much. Ward’s husky vocals come over all Karen O in places, which can only be a good thing. Her vocals are a little more suited to practically shouting their brilliance as in the raucous ‘Sweetness Has A Hold On’, one of the highlights of the album, but it’s good to see that she can handle the variety that keeps the album on its toe.
‘Sweet Nothings’ meanwhile, tests out Turpin’s versatility with equal levels of success. It’s sweet, sure, but definitely not nothing. The song is a heart-wrenching sliver of loveliness over plucky guitars, and will no doubt go down a storm in acoustic sessions or quieter moments live.
Though it’s still good, ‘Home’ is the first sign in the album that things might be getting a little repetitive – so it’s just as well that it’s the penultimate track. Things come to a close with the almost-title track ‘Let My Feet Fall Heavy’; one of the longest songs of the album, it begins as a sample-heavy, sprawling mess, before getting even messier as Turpin cracks out some anthemic vocals and powerful guitars. It stop-starts in volume for a little while, dabbling in some excellently-placed piano notes here and there, before bringing down the place with screams and distraught guitar riffs. This is only Kill It Kid’s second album; God knows where they’ll go from here.
Words: Coral Williamson.