Kill Your Idols:
From Companionship to
Side One Dummy
Kill Your Idols is an anomaly in contemporary music. Outspoken against major labels, music videos, and anything else of the sort, KYI have always been about nothing more than pure, angry, fast, fun punk rock. By sticking true to their ideals and touring constantly (until their recent retirement from it), they managed to build up a large grassroots following of people who were impressed by their incendiary music and energetic live shows.
Any KYI fan will know what to expect from one of their albums.
An outsider can expect fast, short, sometimes ‘moshy’ punk rock and hardcore songs. Frontman Andy West screams out lightning-fast lyrics about politics, the punk rock/hardcore scene, girls, and being disillusioned with the world in general.
Unfortunately, they’ve been on a decline for their past few releases. Their last full-length LP, Funeral for a Feeling sounded exactly like all their other stuff, but something about it was phoned in. It seemed like maybe West had run out of things to be genuinely angry about.
Happily, whether it’s the result of the state of the world today, West’s current state of mind or a combination of the two, From Companionship to Competition finds the band back in fighting form. In fact, this is probably their best material since their first full length, No Gimmicks Needed.
KYI’s long time bassist and drummer are gone for this album. Fortunately, they picked up Vinnie Value, formerly of New York hardcore legends Warzone and Greyarea, behind the kit for this album. Value wrote all of Greyarea’s lyrics, so perhaps his influence has something to do with the high quality of this record.
The tone is set early on with the appropriately titled “Intro.” A fairly standard drumbeat turns into a lightning-quick 30 seconds of West screaming his lungs out.
If you’re not familiar with Kill Your Idols, this song is a perfect introduction. Next comes “Stuck in a Rut,” which talks about feeling hopeless and stagnant in life, a fairly common lyrical topic for KYI.
Fortunately, KYI always avoids getting too self serious. Song titles like “Only D*cks Don’t Like Black Flag” show that they do indeed have a sense of humor. Aging punk rockers will also get a kick out of a spot on cover of mid 90’s punk rock band The Pist’s immortal classic “Still Pist.”
KYI fans should eat this up. For anyone looking to get into them, this is a perfectly acceptable album to start. In addition to having this great new album out, KYI is also scheduled to play some East Coast shows next month with hardcore legends 7 Seconds. It looks like one of the better hardcore/punk bands of the past decade is back in full force, and that is definitely good news.
– Chuck DelRoss