If there are two things most credited for helping spearhead the metalcore movement, it’s Deadguy and their 1995 juggernaut, Fixation on a Coworker.
While this particular band and album are venerated for very good reason, I have often felt that the band vocalist Tim Singer formed after leaving Deadguy in 1996, Kiss It Goodbye, to be vastly underrated. Deadguy‘s Fixation on a Coworker gets its props for being erratic and violent, but Kiss It Goodbye‘s 1997 LP, She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not, is an absolutely devastating and brooding affair.
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not is characterized by sprawling, dynamic instrumentation full of unpredictable rhythmic shifts, sludge-ridden paces and the right amount of angularity and chaos to keep everything wonderfully discordant. Just like in Deadguy, Tim Singer’s bitter, throat-searing screams and psychotic ramblings just add to the album’s confrontational and dark sound.
“Helvetica” immediately grabs you by the throat and drags you through a field of aural broken glass. This track, with it’s dissonant lurches, piercing harmonic flurries and lumbering doom and gloom conjured by guitarist Keith Huckins, sets the stage for the rest of the album to come. It immediately collides into “Hartley”, which churns out a plethora of muscular, skull-caving grooves that eventually shift into sections of hypnotically repetitious, malevolent riffs that are spearheaded by Singer’s layers of unhinged vocals.
The galloping mayhem of “Fire Drill” and the pseudo hardcore stampedes that appear irregularly in “Man Thing” hark back to Deadguy, while giving that particular sound a more disjunctive edge. But it’s the longer tracks like “We’ll Burn That Bridge When We Get to It” and “Ammunition” where this monolithic record really shines. “We’ll Burn That Bridge When We Get to It” disregards any ties to hardcore in favor of city-leveling, dissonant sludge packed with so much distortion and hypnotically repetitive rhythms that will melt your mind and crush your skull. “Ammunition”, in contrast, begins with a barrage of hammering, angular metalcore riffs that gradually slow to sparse chugging guitars, only to build back up into a flurry of noisy, erratic, disfigured guitar conjurations; something that would be explored by future guitarist Demian Johnston on their 1999 Choke 7″, and further in Playing Enemy and Great Falls.
Kiss It Goodbye‘s She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not is a classic metalcore gem that often goes overlooked, though I have never understood why. Deadguy was an amazing band, but Kiss It Goodbye was ten-times more dynamic and bitter than its predecessor. Despite being around for just a short while, they were miles ahead of most of their contemporaries and could teach some of the newer acts a thing or two. If no one has introduced you to this leviathan of a record before, allow me to be the first.
This concludes our Alive or Just Blogging metalcore highlight series. We appreciate you taking the time to check these out and we hope you rediscovered old favorites, or even found new ones. Thanks for reading.