Killer Smile

KILLERSMILE – Overpower

Killer Smile - OverpowerWhen you consider the fact that KillerSmile hails from Sweden, their name kinda reveals what kind of music they play. Or does it? Another one of those happy-go-lucky glam / sleaze bands again? Well, there’s nothing wrong with assuming just that because that’s what the name KillerSmile sounds like. But they’re not. Not even close. No, what we have here is a bunch of metal heads. Yes, sir, this motley crew plays heavy metal. Refreshing, to say the least. KillerSmile is a name that has been popping up every now and then in the Swedish hard rock scene and now it’s time for them to release their debut album. But no matter how refreshing it might feel that we get a metal band instead of another one of those bands who really doesn’t have more to offer than big hair, tight spandex, make up and a whoa-whoa chorus, it’s worth nothing if there aren’t any songs to prove it. Also, when it comes to metal, the musicianship is very important. If you can’t play your instruments really well and the band isn’t tight enough, then everything will fall flat on its back. But let me say this, these guys are safe in that department. But let’s start with the least important thing – the album cover and the band name. First of all, KillerSmile may not be the greatest name on earth and second, the cover looks a lot like one of those DIY kind of things, where somebody in the band or somebody’s buddy decided to give it a go to save money or something. So, before listening, don’t judge this band by its name or the looks of their album cover. Also, the name of the album, Overpower, sounds a bit… lame. Well, ok, let’s get to the basics before I come off sounding like a whiney little bitch, all complaining my way through this review.

So let’s get down to the music already. The album starts off with a big fat punch that is the title track. I’m hearing a more modern version of the sound that is called NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). I like some of that music and this song is ok, but it really doesn’t convince me. It comes across as a bit anonymous. But things gets better already by song # 2, “Dancing On Your Grave”. It’s a killer track with a big metal groove – now we’re talking! “To Hell And Back Again” is also a real killer and I’m hearing Megadeth influences, but both melodies and riffs are more melodic and catchy, “Queen Of Hearts” sounds just like I thought a song with that title should sound – it’s a really good hard rock track – no more, no less. One of my favourite tracks on this album is “Neverlasting” and once again I hear Megadeth influences, but I also hear a groove that makes me think of old Y&T. Megadeth meets Y&T, that’s really awesome. “Where We Go To Die” is another powerful tune – heavy, but still melodic. “Demons Of Dust” has a great chorus, very catchy. I’d like to describe the song as hard rock with a metal twist.

As a debut, this is a really good album. And a very short one. Only eight songs feels like a bit too short. Sure, I’m glad every time I get hold of record that doesn’t hold 14 or 15 songs – that’s just overkill, but eight? This album doesn’t reach me all the way, but there certainly is potential here and the good over shadows the mediocre by far. As musicians, these guys are faultless and there’s not one bad song on this album. I also like the “in your face” production – raw, but at the same time, ballsy. KillerSmile’s sound is a good mix of NWOBHM, Thrash Metal and hard rock – a sound that suits me just fine and I really like the combination of metal with great melodies. Still, I get the feeling that there are lots more to bring out of this band. The majority of the songs here are great, but with only eight songs and the odd filler or two makes for a shortage of killer tracks – especially when the good ones leaves you wanting more. A very good debut, no doubt, but only eight songs leaves me a bit unfulfilled. I really like what I’m hearing, it’s just that I want to hear more of it! That said, this album won’t leave my iPhone any time soon.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)

Tracklist:

1. Overpower
2. Dancing On Your Grave
3. To Hell And Back Again
4. Queen Of Hearts
5. Neverlasting
6. Where We Go To Die
7. Dead Again
8. Demons Of Dust

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