I’ve just discovered Kill the Thrill.
Founded in 1989 in France by Nicolas Dick (vocals/guitar/lapsteel) and Marylin Tognolli (bass), the band also relies on the drumming of François Rossi to bring life to new album Autophagie, released via Season of Mist.
First thing to know: I’m totally unfamiliar with the band’s mix, which has its roots in Industrial, Post-Punk and French New Wave. In fact, this is one of my first real encounters with these styles, which I’ve been enjoying from afar for years, more as background music than as real attentive listening.
The minimalist instrumental highlights the powerful, demonstrative voice of Nicolas Dick, who doesn’t hesitate to proclaim his message in French, sometimes complemented by a few backing vocals depending on the track, making the mix even more expressive. While some tracks are relatively long, such as Tout va bien se terminer, Le dernier train or Capitan, they’re also very progressive, gradually becoming majestic and almost oppressive, while some others are shorter and more motivating, such as A la dérive, Je suis là or even Les enfants brûlent, a composition that is far too calm. Autophagie, the eponymous track, strucks me with its contrast between obvious, apathetic pessimism on the lyric and riffs’ luminous touches, creating an almost unpredictable instrumental basis. As soon as I heard its unusual title, I was immediately taken aback by Clusterheadache, and listening to it confirmed its singular character, in which spikes of rage almost explode, unlike Ahan, the final track which places seemingly unrelated vocal samples to close the album in mystery.
The experience is certainly strange, but far from uninteresting. Kill the Thrill‘s universe is in every way different from my musical habits, but the musicians’ minimalist coldness and conviction in the discourse convinced me. Autophagie is an album that will speak to you depending on your personal tastes, but which cannot leave you indifferent.