REVIEW: Kill Paradise – The Glitch

Artist: Kill Paradise
Album: The Glitch
Genre: Synth-pop/electro
Label: BreakSilence Recordings

Kill Paradise mix elements of pop-punk, synth-pop, and electro in this colourful release. It’s a sparky blending of genres that manages to be mostly interesting, though one is left with a distinct lack of impression in its wake. For all its fun and frolics, it feels insubstantial, like a great pile of experiments with no real purpose at their core. But it is enjoyable, light-hearted listening, music that does its best to enlighten your day with something kooky.

“Take Your Ego, But Not Where We Go” isn’t exactly a challenging effort, but it showcases everything the listener can expect from the rest of the album. It is floury and dreamy, ambitiously throwing all its effects together to spin a sweet track with a gentle appeal. It is for all intents and purposes a plain pop song with some funkier dressings (including dubstep-like diversions), but its bubblegum musings are catchy, pervasive when they want to be, ably led by clear and frothy vocals. “Party with My Best Friends” is so precocious it could be subtitled nursery disco, but the message is endearing nonetheless. It is equally light of foot – content to dabble with its synth and electro effects, though never quite delving into extremes. The lyrics are carefree and unassuming and it leaves more of a faint mark as opposed to a deep impression, but it is cute.

Most of the album consists of similarly-themed, curious and carefree tracks that sound like the musical equivalent of someone doodling in a scrapbook. It is, as detailed above, an entertaining romp but one can’t help feeling that if the band were a bit more eager to explore in their efforts, they could produce something stronger and more rewarding. With this in mind, both “Higher” and “Forget the Queen, Save Us All” show promise. “Higher” throws an expletive or two into the works, earmarking a raunchier, heavier opening focus. The song doesn’t follow through on this grungy potential – disappointingly – but the beat is infectious and its appeal is more overt and ambitious. Likewise, “Forget the Queen, Save Us All” has a gritty edge that matches the toughness of the lyrics. This is too often thrust aside in favour of the cascading synths however, making for an eye-catching but ultimately underwhelming song.

Intriguingly, it is when the band makes use of earthier instruments that their music really shines. The electro-pop enthusiasm is clear and winning, but the addition of piano elements to certain songs gives them an authenticity and more natural feeling that in turn, easily appeals to the listener. “Watch Me Fly” is dreamier and slower, the keys grounding the synth and other effects. This, combined with the sentimental lyrics, makes the song that little bit warmer – although by definition the genre stifles any real show of emotion. It’s good music and well executed, but lacks an emotional resonance (for this writer, at least). That said, later songs display a patently emotive streak that can catch the listener off-guard. “Favourites Die” is different – sad, threadbare, with a sobering musical landscape that evokes shades of grey and feelings of isolation and uncertainty. The vacant vocals add to this, so that it’s the reeling synth that actually adds atmosphere and intensity. This is followed beautifully by the delicate, dancing rhythm of title track “The Glitch.” Here, there’s a freshness and vitality that’s distorted by the wafting vocals and effects. The song becomes tenser and sharper as it comes together, though the bright-eyed glee is preserved in the dreamy chorus. It never loses the relentless beat in the background and so feels optimistic.

Finally, “Singing into Summer’s Eyes” provides a cheerful and uplifting conclusion – a fitting take on its seasonal title. The music is much the same as elsewhere – lacking spark, but jovial, spirited, and fun.

Kill Paradise could be difficult to take seriously in some quarters, particularly given their tendency to sound no more enthralled than a bunch of schoolchildren playing with keyboards. Yet, joyful, escapist music has an enduring appeal and if you’re not too demanding or judgmental, The Glitch has lots to love. In terms of future works, something a bit grittier wouldn’t go amiss, but for the time being this is charming and bright.

SCORE: 7/10
Review written by Grace Duffy

James Shotwell
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One Response to “REVIEW: Kill Paradise – The Glitch”

  1. James Kaplan says:

    Yeah! Kill Paradise is AMAZING!!!!!!