Iím not sure Kid Icarus know who they want to be. I say this because some of The Metal West is thrashy, almost throwaway stuff, whilst there are times when they go for a more atmospheric, acoustic approach that hints at deeper things, maaan. But although itís something of a patchy affair, the album definitely has its moments.
Beekeepers On The Edge Of Town opens proceedings strongly with a raunchy, thrashy riff, although the belated chorus lets it down a little as itís just not quite strong enough. Even so, itís a promising start. A Retail Hell, one of the acoustic moments, follows and is a pleasant number that doesnít overstay its welcome. Another acoustic number, My Anthracite Headache, builds nicely from its finger picked verse to a doomy chorus that brings to mind Joy
Divisionís New Dawn Fades. Marloweís Blues is a neat, riff driven thing that sounds like something John Peel would have played in 1978, which I can assure you is not intended in an insulting way.
The album peaks mid-way with the lengthy title track which, with its distorted notes over an acoustic guitar and harmonica, sounds like the Jesus & Mary Chain providing the soundtrack for some fifties western. It ends on a desolate, forlorn note with Kid Icarus mainman, Eric Schlittler delivering the lines...
10 p.m. on a Sunday
On the way to The Metal West
The sky is dark
It all went badly
Thereís really nothing left
For you here
... in an almost sardonic style, and it really is rather good.
Still, although The Murderess works well with its almost shoegazey
feel and Coldplay-like intro, and the instrumental 700 Angry Ghosts is
an enjoyable quick thrash, the album starts to peter out after this. White
Church Rd, Perils Of Dating in 1899, and Field Song And Record just
arenít memorable enough. The closing track, Her Song For Beth And The Sideshow,
has some interesting atmospherics, but isnít quite strong enough to stop you
thinking that The Metal West would have been an altogether stronger
affair for stopping earlier and being, say, a seven or eight track mini-album.
Still, whilst The Metal West is something of a mixed bag, thereís definitely promise here.