Killed By 9V Batteries / Picture Eyes - Split-LP

5/5 songs
41:37 minutes
***** *** / ***** ****

Killed By 9V Batteries Page / Picture Eyes Page

Although they haven’t been around that long and have so far released only two longplayers, Killed By 9V Batteries can claim the split-LP with their fellow Austrians as their already thirteenth release. Those who had the opportunity to witness one of their unbridled live shows will know more or less what to expect, especially since the quintet has decided to abandon their hitherto structured songwriting (not that they sounded that accessible in the past) in favour of a freer spirit, explained partly with their new found love for early Pink Floyd. Their five tracks on this vinyl record are still firmly rooted in Nineties noise rock, with a strong Sonic Youth edge, but let’s face it: Killed By 9V Batteries do their own thing, are at ease with distorted feedback orgies and experienced enough to allow melodies to creep underneath their abrasive guitar driven orgies.

Picture Eyes are by comparison a new band who a debuting on this split-LP. It’s a nice gesture of the more established Killed By 9V Batteries to give a young band a chance, and the newcomers certainly know how to use it in their favour. The musicians have a screamo background, and initially started their new band with a singer/songwriter idea in mind. All of this results in five splendid noise rock songs that combine wildly screaming guitars with astonishingly mature melodies. The vocalist gives it a certain Jane’s Addiction touch, although the Austrians are of course firmly grounded on European noise rock and consequently don’t display any sense of exotica. But that doesn’t strip their music of its quality, instead they surprise on this debut with songs that manage to sound modern and uncompromisingly unadjusted at the same time.

I didn’t expect to write this, but Picture Eyes’ contribution appealed even more to me than the already impressive performance by Killed By 9V Batteries. Fans of unpolished noise rock shouldn’t think twice before adding this exceptional split album to their record collection.

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