The Kickliner operate in a sphere of hard-edged indie and comparisons to fellow Sheffield dwellers The Arctic Monkeys haven’t entirely been out of place. Yet The Kickliner have never sounded like one of those regional rock acts. These three new songs emphasise this argument as the band embrace punk, hard rock and even a little prog.
Courtesy of its bluesy riffs, ‘Ostrich’ travels back in time to the 1970’s, with only the youthful vocals bringing the experience up to date. It’s certainly an arresting opener but it’s slightly awkward pace and rhythm shifts means that it meanders a bit too much to draw in the casual listener. The group stick to that earthy feel for the second track, ‘Black Blankets’, only this time their efforts yield better reward as the song is much more focused in its direction. It makes the brave step of only bringing in the vocals after a minute of intense guitars and frenetic percussion but the track itself is a real powerhouse and now they’re multi-part (dare we say punk-prog?) approach begins to make sense. Finally, ‘In The Evening’ continues that sense of visceral vigour; aggressive yet never overpowering.
The Kickliner have clearly developed well in a few years. Their skills in arrangement and songwriting have matured to the extent that they now sound like they have been doing this kind of thing for a decade. However, surely the next step now will be to see whether they can maintain these levels of breathless intensity over the course of their first album.
Bandcamp Stream of ‘Vultures’
The Arctic Monkeys, The Jam