Hailing from Boston (The Lincolnshire market town, not the Massachusetts metropolis), the alt-rock troupe Kill The Ideal have been gunning for the big leagues with gritted teeth for quite some time now. Opting to double down on the age old fundamentals of swaggering alt-rock instead of dabbling in madcap genre dynamism, the quartet have made both an impression and dotting following over the course of the past several years and two self-release EPs. It’s these two extended plays that established their identity, one being resonating zeal, self-conscious attitude and inclusive swagger. Their EP Against The World continues in this trend but see’s the band further pumping their sound with passion and confidence.
Their most diligent work to date, the seven tracks that compose Against The World easily stand as Kill The Ideal’s most infectious and steadfast work to date. Where as their 2015 release Heritage and their 2017 self-titled effort witnessed Kill The Ideal eagerly tinkering with their sound, Against The World instantly demonstrates how the band have pinpointed their own voice and style. There’s a glimmering and impressive level of confidence within this release, one that becomes instantly apparent with opener ‘Let’s Get Excited’. Previously released as charity single in aid of the NHS during the darkest days of the pandemic, the track lives true to it’s namesake with carbonated energy, haplessly endemic gang vocals and thumping vigour. As the following ‘Scream For Me’ follows in a similar and thunderous pursuit, the unique sound Kill The Ideal have spent years forging becomes clear.
Atop a foundation heavily reminiscent of the work by 2010’s alt-rock units such as Young Guns, Canterbury, We Are The Ocean and others of their ilk, Kill The Ideal channel the spirit of the arena headlining titans that original pioneered the alt-rock sound. However, the contrived cliches and ignorant swagger associated with such juggernauts has been mostly diluted and refined prior to being incorporated into their sound. The end result is a homegrown sound that’s somewhat nostalgic of bygone eras and a plethora of other acts yet cutting edge. ‘Save The World’ and ‘Ten’ demonstrate this to it’s full extent, with the guest vocals from Normandie’s Philip Strand duking it out with the towering falsettos of frontman Ash Wilson in instance of the former track.
Even with the group’s sound glistening with dedicated determinism and the soaring vocal work of Wilson being undeniably impressive, there are a few select periods where the EP doesn’t successfully dilute the cliches from their aforementioned behemoth icons. Despite being an impressively ambitious cover in itself, the group’s attempt at the timeless ‘Immigrant Song’ fails to capture the magic of the original and the polarising stadium rock within ‘Meds’ obscures the crucial message of self-care within the track. Thankfully the jagged, almost barbed central riff of the latter does save it from mediocrity, but Against The World’s unashamed love for arena rock sensibilities may be a determent for some eager to indulge within the UK alt-rock sound paramount within the EP.
In all, it’s essentially difficult not to love the sheer ambition, confidence and composed swagger within this release. With Against The World, Kill The Ideal have focused their sound and made certain that the infectious energy contained within will ensure aplenty of new fans and returning listeners en-mass. Few periods of unapologetic icon worship aside, this EP is a surging outlet of energy that shows sometimes all you need is a determined return to basic genre fundamentals to make a statement in 2021.
Against The World is self-released February 5th.