I Am The Messer
It’s OK to be stuck in the past, but if you’re stuck there and come up with a new, fresh sound maybe that’s your cosmic destiny. Los Angeles’ Killola would have slipped right into the nihilistic dance party that filled Hollywood in 1981. There are moments that might have only happened at the Whisky A Go Go or on Melrose and La Cienega on this downloadable compilation of power pop masterpieces. Lead singer Lisa Rieffel might be the vocal ghost of Martha Davis haunting Exene Cervenka’s vocal chords, and the band itself can clone any early KROQ hot rotation hit.
The songwriting is direct and engaging — “Heart Rate 160” is a straight-ahead disappointed love song with a disturbingly country intro, “Personal Graveyard,” a driving head banger about death, and “All My Idols Are Dead” blames MTV for pretty much everything wrong in the world today. Who would have known? I’ve been hearing swine flu is either caused by Bush or global warming, or at least the rebuilding of Yankee Stadium.
Amazingly, this dozen-song set is a free download. The price you pay is some cloying intro pieces from their sponsor, which I suspect you could adjust easily with a few keystrokes. “Killola” looks like The Next Big Thing, and we could all do a lot worse than dress in sparkly suits, thin ties, and spike our hair. In retrospect, the ’80s were pretty cool.