Killing me softly

Photo By Chris Woo

In the kill zone: Kill Me Tomorrow, West by Swan & guests play live at Fulcrum Records, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.

It’s a cliché for writers to insist that environment influences a band’s music. That clichà may be true to most but irrelevant concerning Kill Me Tomorrow’s Dan Wise (guitar), K8 Wince (bass, vocals) and Zack Wentz (drums, vocals), as their signature sound is the absolute antithesis to their home city, San Diego’s, good-time-California-Sunshine vibe.

Kill Me Tomorrow confronts expectations with a weird, claustrophobic, chaos-laden assemblage of ostensibly disparate pieces that gel to erupt and boil beneath the drawn skin, revealing an entirely new beast while staying relative to the rock music shadow lands mined by Suicide, Joy Division and The Fall. The band is finally beginning to garner the plaudits deserved. Glowing write-ups in the Village Voice and Vice Magazine only add to the national exposure obtained through high-profile tours with Liars, The Locust and most recently The Blood Brothers.

Kill Me Tomorrow’s dark fixations will be made concrete as of Feb. 23 when the band releases its first proper full-length The Garbageman and the Prostitute on the highly regarded GSL record label (Mars Volta, The Locust). The album is a connected trail of sketches, an open narrative detailing the heated subsistence of a garbageman who may or may not be a werewolf responsible for killing redheaded prostitutes. Thematically tweaking and testing the very nature of reality, one has to wonder if the new album’s looming psychodrama is Kill Me Tomorrow’s means of disguising the real story beneath the print, and just a ploy to mess with our heads. Content in leaving questions unanswered, the band constructs lyrics open to interpretation. Counter to their narratives, the live performance distinguishes itself more simply, executed in an immediate, visceral and precarious manner that convinces even the most jaded of observers that impending danger and threat exist still within the rock music lexicon. Kill Me Tomorrow brings down the lights and locks the door on Fulcrum Records in Chico on Wednesday, Feb. 18.