Kill Matilda - #punk #zombie #rocknroll (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kill Matilda

#punk #zombie #rocknroll (2014)


Kill Matilda is a female-fronted DIY three-piece out of Vancouver, BC (who also call Toronto home), and they've been around and touring since 2008. The'’ve got a loud, heavy sound, somewhat reminiscent of other female-led Canadian punk bands, like Die Mannequin and the Creepshow. They play hard, they sound fierce and they kill zombies in their spare time. They describe themselves as sweaty dance punk, but they come off a little bit harder than that.

The album, #punk #zombie #rocknroll, leads off with “Pomegranate,” coming in at just under three minutes long. It comes in a little on the slow side, but, believe me, the band doesn't waste a lot of time before showing what they’re capable of -- the hard guitars and singer Dusty Exner’s vocals shine on this track. Exner has been described as “Joan Jett on steroids," and she lives up to the description. Whether she’s singing or screaming, she has a wide range and she’s not afraid to use it. The vocals and music juxtapose each other, which can take a couple of listens to get used to, but it certainly has its effect. “I Want Revenge” is up next, diving directly into noisy, loud and angry vocals. This track, too, has it’s contrast -- but, this time, within the vocals themselves. Exner switches between her screaming and more melodic singing with ease. The track is simple, loud and to the point.

“Zombie Apocalypse”, the third track, is everything the title of the album advertises. Punk, zombies, rock’n’roll. Personally, I think it’s the highlight of the album. You can certainly hear the Joan Jett qualities of Exner’s voice, and the shift between the louder chorus and the verses works, and is definitely improved by the spoken bridge. “Law Abiding Citizen” gives us more of what we've come to expect from the band; blaring guitars, big changes in vocal styles within the song; this time with harmonies. The more melodic pieces of the song are done quite well, making them the highlight of the song, and making it one of the more memorable ones.

“PBJ” doesn’t waste time, either. The guitars are loud and heavy from the first, and the song only amps it up as it goes. The first 40 seconds are, most certainly, the angriest sounding piece of the album; not that the rest of the song doesn't sound angry. Because that would be a lie. The song ends the way it started, going out in a blaze of noise and fury, which leads into “Geisha With a Switchblade (Acoustic).” It might be the softest song on the album, but that doesn't make it any lighter. It’s not the strongest track, vocally, and the lyrics aren't particularly strong either (some seem a tiny bit questionable) -- but the meaning behind it all is certainly a strong one, referring to a woman getting justice for wrongs done to other women (referred to as her sisters). With the cases of missing Aboriginal women in Canada not being investigated, it’s the kind of song that resonates in the Canadian context the band comes from.

#punk #zombie #rocknroll isn't the strongest of albums, but it certainly has its highlights and there are good things to say about it. It is, by no means, a classic, but it’s worth a few listens, at least. The band is made up of some pretty talented musicians, and I, for one, want to see how they grow in the future. I’m all for female-led, Canadian punk music.