So many B-sides and rarities compilation arrive in the middle of a band's career, and if the band is a great one, the album itself tends to consequently be pretty good, in the least. But all too often it's also rendered incomplete months later by a new recorded track that makes it onto a 7" or compilation or what have you. Luckily, the wise, brash men of Kill Your Idols held off until their break-up to unleash their own 38-song monster of a comp1: Something Started Here, which collects the band's rare and out of print material and stands as a wonderful retrospective of the recently departed Long Island hardcore act.
If Kill Your Idols had any merited criticisms, perhaps it would lie with many of their songs often sounding similar, which made for monotonous sections of their various releases. It's a more than pleasant surprise, then, that Something Started Here is stunningly versatile -- sure, it spans the band's 12-year existence, but the band largely evolved smartly and subtly through their lifetimes. Even within individual blocks of studio sessions the songs are relatively different in style, and that's a beautiful assistant in keeping a set of 38 songs fresh and enjoyable.
Standouts abound here. Opener "Can't Take My Pride," taken from an early Blackout! Records compilation, Our Own Way, is known for being one of the band's choice songs, marked with an urgent, sudden burst of its chorus -- "What I've Become," which comes much later at Track 37, works in the same regards. Then there's the vaguely NOFX-ish "Again," from the 1999 edition of Victory Records' Only the Strong series. "Empty Room," from the split with Nerve Agents, is one of the more dynamic numbers. The Good Riddance split offers (amongst two others) "I Told You So," which actually rings with an unusual sentimentality and superb, emotional bridge. Tommy Corrigan, formerly of Silent Majority and Blood Red and currently of Capital, lends a spicy vocal appearance on the swiftly executed "Dagger."
There's also quite a number of covers here: Negative Approach (2), S.O.A., Slapshot, Scandal, Voorhees, Sheer Terror (2), Jawbreaker, the Exploited and Breakdown. The standouts of these include "Lost in Space" (S.O.A.), the beautiful retro tinge of "Can't Tell No One" (Negative Approach), and obviously "Do You Still Hate Me?" (duh), where frontman Andy West actually reels in his trademark bark to try and gravelly sing the lines -- he definitely sounds like a mess, but it somehow works.
An hour-plus of no-frills, barked hardcore might sound monotonous on paper, but Kill Your Idols step up to challenge that very notion with a very good, career-closing set.
1 - A 12-song, self-titled compilation with the similar intents of collecting "previously released and out of print material" was released in 2002 on Grapes of Wrath, however, as an import.