While Kiss The Gunner does a very hard-hitting brand of hardcore that verges on metal a great deal of the time, â€œWhy Are We So Dead?â€ does not sound like the same thing that a number of artists in a similar genre try to pander their listeners. There is more than a fair share of a Stabbing Westward meets emo sound that comes forth quite a few times on â€œWhy Are We So Dead?â€ For example, the track â€œThatâ€™s Some Good Yellinâ€™â€ brings together these two disparate styles without making the uniting seams that visible. The band creates a wall of sound that will blow listeners away for the entirety of the discâ€™s near-thirty minute runtime.
The compositions on this album are so full, so dense that the runtime of a â€œThatâ€™s Some Good Yellinâ€™â€, which clocks in at about three minutes, feels like a five or six minute track. While each of the discâ€™s first few tracks contribute to the overall sound of Kiss The Gunner, what really establishes the band as more than a unity of their sum parts has to be the instrumental track. This provides all the emotion and fury of the rest of the tracks on the disc, but is one of the few times where the band slows things down and lets listeners actually mull over what the band is doing in that specific period. The track also works well as a break-point between the first and second half of the time. The first track on the second half of the CD is â€œSouthern Comfort Ainâ€™t No Comfortâ€, and it provides a more streamlined sound to the band.
While there is still the screaming that was present on other tracks, the majority of the track takes a lot from the melodic emo bands of the late nineties, to create a fertile ground for the screaming to take root. Kiss the Gunner was not a band that I was familiar with at the beginning of the album, but by the time that â€œWhy Are We So Dead?â€ finished up, I was a fan. They are one of the few current hardcore bands that actually make me give a damn. Now, if The Hatchet and Kiss The Gunner could get together and play a show, I would be floored. Give this band a listen, even if the current state of hardcore is not anything too terribly impressive.
Top Tracks: Turkey Hotshot, Instrumental