Back in my high school days, myself and some friends fell in love with a little goth/industrial band called My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. We’d make a pilgrimage downtown every time they played Philly, going to something like four of their shows in three years. There were bright lights, big sets, freaks, spectacles, and good music. But then something happened. The band got… well, boring.
See, MLWTTKK has always been an eclectic bunch. Their self-titled debut, released in 1988, was intended to be a movie soundtrack (the film was ultimately scrapped) and was filled with moody instrumentals, blasting goth-rock and lo-fi techno.
The following year, Confessions Of A Knife proved to be an industrial must-have. Dark electronic jams backed funky bass, soulful vocals, and a barrage of movie samples for an undeniably catchy listen. 1991’s Sexplosion saw them flirting with campy disco-sleaze, and 1993’s 13 Above The Night was a blistering industrial / rave set, just as engaging as Confessions.
By ’95, however, the eclecticism went too far. The band began to lose steam with Hit And Run Holiday, a mellow return to their disco-sleaze sound; not without its charm, but not nearly as engaging as their earlier venture in that direction. Two years later, A Crime For All Seasons a half-assed mess of an album caused my friends and I to lose interest.
Nevertheless, MLWTTKK has held a special place in my heart ever since, so I was curious when I saw them on the Troc bill for this weekend. I checked into it, and interestingly enough, the album they’re promoting The Reincarnation Of Luna is pretty respectable. It’s a well-rounded mix spanning most genres they’ve dabbled in: groovy funk and disco (“Hour Of Zero,” “Girl Without A Planet”), rave-based industrial (“Temptation Serenade,” “Radio Silicon”), and sprawling instrumentals (“Theme De Luna”).
Of course, Reincarnation has its downside. Some moments drag (the bombastic “Untouchable Class”), and the disc as a whole isn’t as tight as 13 or Confessions. It might not truly be a reincarnation, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a surprisingly solid set, and enough to make me want to check out the show on Sunday. Too bad I don’t talk to any of the MLWTTKK pilgrims anymore… we could have a reunion!
If you go: My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult w/ Professional Murder Music. Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Trocadero, $16.50 in advance, $18 at the door.