Review: Killing Flame

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Killing Flame
““Another Breath””
(Equal Vision Records)

The first song makes it clear that the Killing Flame has a checklist of issues to rail against inserting a specific spoken word section that criticizes some peers for being to concerned with radio rotation, chart position and Canadian Royalty distribution…and to which the Killing Flame screams, “Fuck That!”  And kick it home with some quick double time punk rock kicks on the drums.  Since no one in the Killing Flame can sing very well, they are all willing step up to the mic a lot for backing vocals that are more about strength in numbers than any kind of harmonization.  When some attention is paid to guitar breaks and developing a mood (like the breakdown in “Shooting the Star”), this is where the band is showing what it will develop into with some focus on their own sound as they learn to sidestep the staple punk skip.  They button down on the guitar and pull it in really tight and show there’s more to a hardcore trip than shout and slam punk riffs.  There’s a couple sour notes vocally (“Back to the Start” backing needs a lot of work) but singer Joe Nelson seems to have his heart into it so skill will follow.  And there’s enough bark and spit hardcore chops where vocal melody isn’t really as much of a factor.  Some interesting drum stops to highlight the drops in, “Bloodsucker” make it notable.  One can tell Killing Flame sometimes want to take the music in a more musical direction as evidenced by the occasional poppier melody the KF will employ, but usually they are very short and drive into something more core related.  Potential is written all over because even with the shortcomings, I’ll listen to this for there’s a spirit of hunger here and that always draws my ear.