Artist: Kitty in a Casket
Label: Rodeostar Records
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Some songs you hear and know they were written for you. One of those songs for me was the title track on Vienna, Austria’s Kitty in a Casket’s debut album, 2009’s Horror Express. It tells the tale of a loner who’d rather sit around and watch his horror movies all day than go co-exist in the world. I’ve been hooked ever since.
KIAC’s fifth full length studio album, Rise, proves to be a worthy contender with any of the band’s previous releases. Rise is a step farther away from the horror-punk that made up Horror Express, but it still has those great thematic elements that initially grabbed me scattered throughout the record. My favorite track as of now is ‘Oh Johnny’, which opens with a 50’s throwback to a lovers lane ballad that turns very bloody (and quite unfortunate for Johnny). Other tracks address social issues in the world (‘Twenty17’), feeling ostracized, but accepting it and embracing your own beautiful weirdness (‘Cold Black Heart’), upper class greed (‘Kiss My Ass’), and dealing with someone who took advantage of your kindness (‘F.U.’).
The sound of Rise is more pop-punk (think- early No-Doubt that wasn’t ska) than the psychobilly that made up earlier albums like Horror Express and Bittersweet. Even though it is a step away from what initially attracted me to the band, it is a welcomed and warranted progression. You can only sing so many songs about cannibals and zombies before it gets redundant. It also shows they are no ‘one-trick pony’ and can evolve into something even better than where they started. Perhaps the only thing I missed on this album is a German track (three previous albums included tracks in their native tongue)*. I can look past that though and embrace this offering from a great band that clearly loves what they do, and have continuously gotten better at it!
*EDIT: I have been told by none other than Kitty Casket herself that the bonus CD you get with the FANBOX does in fact have two German tracks, so if you can get your hands on that, DO IT!
Overall rating: 5/5