The Bedroom Tapes is the latest entry in My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult’s Sinister Whisperz series, a collection of retrospective records that have done an outstanding job celebrating the band’s legacy. The first three covered the history all the way from the celebrated WaxTrax! years to the Rykodisc days at the turn of the millennium, and now this fourth entry has circled around to the very beginning, delving into previously unreleased material.
Culled from a collection of early demos preceding the I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits debut, many of the tracks find Franke “Groovie Mann” Nardiello and Marston “Buzz McCoy” Daley wearing their original influences on their sleeves – namely Front 242, Skinny Puppy, and Twitch-era MINISTRY – while also providing a glimpse at what would later be the trademark Thrill Kill Kult sound. Songs such as “Babble Box,” “Absolution,” and “Monster Man” are solid examples of the former with their blend of pounding beats, strident noise, and Groovie’s wailed vocals that bear a resemblance to Nivek Ogre’s tortured howl. While those tracks certainly have their charm and will bring a twisted smile to anyone that cut their teeth on records like Twitch and Official Version, the best material here indulges in one of the key elements that has always been at the core of TKK’s sound – the funk. “Sermon 4 None” has a dirty bassline snaking through movie samples and industrial clatter, while “Satan’s Power” and “Eye of X” serve up funky dance grooves, hinting at what would come later in more developed form in classic tracks such as “Waiting for Mommie” from Confessions of a Knife….
While it may fall short of essential for more casual fans of My Life with the Trill Kill Kult, The Bedroom Tapes 1987-1988 is a fascinating look at the formative years of one of the definitive bands of the WaxTrax! era. It is an indispensable document for devotees of the Kult, of course, and well worth a look for anyone with an affinity for the classic sound of the late ‘80s.