Dec 2012 29

Towson, MD, The Recher, 10/20/2012


The music industry can be a cruel business, especially with regards to more underground genres, whereby the pressures of maintaining a creative outlook and a productive if not prolific outflow of material that is both artistically satisfying and appealing on a wider scale can lead to the most destructive consequences. To last even a single decade is no small task, so credit must be given to any band or artist that perseveres over the course of 25 years. With the Back from Beyond tour, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult celebrates the last quarter of a century with a grand display of all that the band has been about: evil sex, horrific sleaze, and having one hell of a good time! The musical equivalent of an F-grade grindhouse flick, TKK has made no apologies for the tumultuous path it has paved, having gone through more than their share of addictions and lineup changes, all the while treading the fine line between decadent art and bad taste. As Towson’s Recher Theatre has been a staple of the Baltimore area for quite some time, TKK brought a powerhouse of a show to a bevy of adoring fans.


Beginning the proceedings was the raucous display of Absinthe, a Maryland five-piece cover band that absolutely revels in its embrace of the rock & roll lifestyle. From covers of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” to White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” with bassist Ronnie swinging his axe to play behind his back and guitarists Mike and Jason blasting out all the classic riffs and solos we’ve all come to know and love (or perhaps even hate), a thunderous percussive assault from Billy, right down to front man Hyde Von Hitchcock’s undeniable stage presence, Absinthe certainly brought a considerable amount of energy to start the night off. Even with the crowd still not at full capacity, and the band hindered slightly by a small stage area due to the abundance of equipment from the headlining acts, the Back from Beyond show was off to a blistering and blazing start thanks to Absinthe – a band worth seeing in any setting.


Kamikaze Kupcakes followed suit, albeit with a far more saccharine brand of decadent rock power. Vocalist Kristina’s voice exudes a sickly sweet quality appropriate to the band’s candy-coated image, full of equal parts melody and punk rock grit on such songs as “Indestructible Girl” and “Make Me Rotten,” her fuchsia blazer shimmering in the stage lights. Once again with the headliners’ equipment encompassing much of the stage space, Kamikaze Kupcakes still put forth a considerably active stage show, with Addam, J.J., and Jared filling out the space rather effectively, exuding the band’s usual bravado despite the physical constraints. Credit must also be given to the band for the lush marriage of image and music, with artfully designed custom jewelry and even helpings of candy at the merch table for good measure.


Hailing from Vancouver, Left Spine Down has in just a few short years become one of the heavy hitters of the modern industrial scene. Combining modern technology with a grating blend of punk rock and industrial fury, the band has become a tight-knit quartet of musicians who after touring with the likes of RevCo, 16volt, and Chemlab know how to put on a show. With the slow buildup of “Troubleshoot” beginning the performance, Galen Waling’s powerful percussion rising in intensity as Matt Girvan patiently awaits his moment to unleash the six-strong barrage, Jeremy Inkel locked and loaded behind his arsenal of keyboards, the video projections of kAINE D3L4Y singing the opening verses finally fade into static when the man himself lets loose onstage, flailing about like a madman with a megaphone. From here, the band keeps the energy level set to kill, blazing at full throttle with tracks like “Hit and Run” and “From Thirty to Zero” demonstrating the band’s melodic yet aggressively speedy style in fine form. Even as the pace slows down for “On the Other Side,” the four project no subtle amount of intensity and fervor, easily matching that exhibited by the most hardened of veteran acts. While some in the crowd may not have understood or appreciated LSD’s modus operandi, respect was certainly granted by the end of what proved to be in this writer’s mind the best performance of the evening.


Having been around for 25 years, there are certain expectations that come with a TKK concert, with plenty of hip-swiveling, fist-pumping, boot-stomping to go around. Featuring the band’s currently regular lineup of bassist Mimi Star, guitarist Westin Halvorson, and drummer Justin Thyme ably backing mainstays Buzz McCoy – decked out in his traditional leather biker garb – and Groovie Mann, My Life with the Thrill Kult took to the stage with all the grandstanding and swagger audiences expect and love from “the most dangerous Kult in America.” Backed by the band’s complement of sexy backup singers, collectively known as The Bomb Gang Girlz, some of whose material was brought into the mix, the band celebrated 25 years of funky debauchery and industrial rock as the audience cheered for such favorites as “The Days of Swine and Roses,” ” Sex on Wheelz,” and “Apollo 69.” A highlight of the evening came with the performance of “After the Flesh” from The Crow soundtrack – better known as a faster, more aggressive version of “Nervous Xians” – bringing the show to full blown mayhem in the mosh pit and pleasing this particular writer as his preferred version of the track. While some might have enjoyed the presence of original bassist Charles Levi, Star’s proficiency at delivering those slinky and smooth bass lines, all the while adding her own subtly restrained sexuality to an already sensual display, could not be denied, while Halverson and Thyme were the clear rockers of the bunch, blasting out riff after riff of TKK’s incendiary set. As well, Groovie Mann deserves mention for his ability to exude a youthful vitality through his aged and well worn façade, exhibiting a comfort with his own sleazy demeanor and not giving one single solitary fuck at any mocking at his expense. He, along with the rest of the band and audience, was there to have fun, and much fun was had at this celebration of one of the underground music scene’s longest running and still ass kicking giants.

Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Photographs by Mandi Martini (Mandi_Martini) & Jessica O’Connor (Pariah)

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult

Left Spine Down

Kamikaze Kupcakes



    My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult – “After the Flesh”

    Left Spine Down – “Hit and Run”

    Kamikaze Kupcakes – “Make Me Rotten”

Video by Lüke Haughwout (Mechanical_Harvest)

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1 Comment

  1. filip de bruyne says:

    Left Spine Down’s first album “Fighting For Voltage” is a hammer!!Their i-punk(an explosive cocktail of industrial, drum & bass and punk)blew(still blows)me away.What then happend is still a mystery to me.A label change to Metropolis(one of the ruling industrial labels)was no surprise, but what they manufactured for that label, meaning the second album “Caution”, was definitely a surprise.Really shocking!!I couldn’t believe my ears.Heading for a more mainstream direction to get more commercial success is not a crime, but to do it so drastically like LSD did, i can’t simply comprehend.No more industrial, no more drum & bass, no more punk…just a mainstream pop-rock band.Why?
    I’m still looking forward to see them live in Europe someday.This might take some time, because 2 previous European tours were cancelled because of lack of intrest of European booking agencies.

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