HOW TO KILL: Like Angels
By Dave Gideon
Christchurch stalwart Rob Mayes of Failsafe Records has done an excellent job producing this release by an underground group from little ‘ol Lyttelton. How To Kill are not regular live players, yet have a good rep locally, impressing with the emotional power of their sonic assault. No pop song structures, or catchlines, and no vocalist either, it’s an instrumental act with rather long songs, e.g. the 11.14 mins of Viaticum. It embraces the darker sense of modern rock guitar, minus a flashy lead, concentrating more on embroidering feedback-fuelled melodies, the emotional depth emphasised with the low tunings these guys are using.The rhythm section of Campbell Johnson and Simon McKenzie provide a strong canvas on which Steve Mateer and Rob McClean paint abstract images and almost gothic guitar immersed soundscapes. I’d rather hear some of these songs shortened and to the point with some interesting lyrics, but this group seems to have achieved what they set out to express. If the Gordons were here today, is this what they would sound like?