Album Review: The Killing Floor

the killing floor

Try typing “Killing Floor” into Google. The results are a tangled mix of video games, films, novels and bands all of the same name. My advice? Name your band “Impulsive Eric and the Sponge Monkeys” and spare us all the confusion. I have eventually discovered however, that the Killing Floor are brothers Mark and Oliver Alberici from London plus Marco Argiro and Chris Bunatta from New York, and no they have not written any screenplays.

The Killing Floor is certainly a grower. First impressions were that the album is very linear – nothing jumped out at me and as such I wasn’t left humming something that had stuck in my head. But subsequent listens ousted much more flavor than the first and before long I was singing along, adding in my own harmonies (a third above, if you’re interested).

I was very pleased to have caught the title “The Killing Floor”, mentioned in the opening track and felt an immediate sense of pride – as though I had found Wally amongst the crowd.

“Your leap to safety was ignored, I know. We all stood still on the Killing Floor, I know.”

This was done in a much more subtle way to almost every pop song these days, where the artist sings us their name like a graffiti tag at the start of a track.

Personally, I very much warmed to the tracks Shout and Star Baby. These two are bursting with energy and aggression - something the album is generally full of. The listener is being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and it is difficult not to give your full attention. The distortion on the bass at the beginning of Star Baby signals its intent.

Temptation is a shouty sing-a-long anthem – something that I’m sure goes down very well during a live performance. It fits very snugly into the “grower” category I mentioned earlier. After the intital disappointment of it not being a cover of Oasis' Supersonic as the drum intro had suggested, it took a few listens to appreciate the track. I would very much class this as a “live” song and difficult to justify on an album as a recorded version.

Your Enemy, Who’s On Your Side and Grace would all fit into the rock ballad category for me, although still possessing all the distortion and aggression of the rest of the album. There is little in the way of diversity throughout the album and the range of instrumentation used is very acute, as is the use of effects.

The album has a certain sound to it, as though everything has been finished off with a waterproof glossy coat, even though the colours underneath are a little different. You know exactly what you’re dealing with 30 seconds into your first listen - think Foo Fighters and Nickelback and you’re in the ball-park. But take my advice and don’t be too quick to judge after your first listen.