Sunday, January 25, 2009


From Skin Graft Records website:
In the three and a half years since Dazzling Killmen first played St. Louis (their hub) at a party I wasn't invited to, their live shows have become so anticipated and precisely compact that spaces have had to cleared of tables and random objects to hold the crowds. Drunken rowdies all crammed together, scream cathartically as the band explodes, the most masculine of men and women fainting, wobbling and bumping with passion and fear. Bassist Darin Gray, usually the center of attention with his cheeky smile, cartoon-like contorting and gymnastic leaps is a monster during these songs, constructing, along with drummer Blake Fleming, seamless rhythms so tight you could bounce a penny off of them. Guitarist / vocalist / muscle man Nick Sakes and guitarist Tim Garrigan create sheets of sound and ropes of melody that wrap around these rhythms. The audience bellows, heads bang, and the few that can actually make space, dance, as the band jerks, stutters and flexes. As the songs progress, the band bends the music just short of the breaking point, creating a frenzy that is always on the verge. Dazzling Killmen's songs are constructed as huge open spaces that need to be crammed with energy-- any energy. Melodies and grooves appear to be stuffed next to others , all bouncing off the walls. They're not linear melodies that arrive predictably in their neat little spaces. Rather there is a center to each song and in this space the band attempts to reach it from different directions. A phrase appears for a moment then vanishes and orbits around the next phrase, hovering and waiting for it's next approach. Sometimes this center is the magnet that holds the whole sheebang together. At other times the center cannot hold and the space collapses. It's during these moments that Dazzling Killmen floor me. Their rapid fire jerks, so precise and measured occur in succession at tremendous velocity. The band, tightly wound and compressed like a brick with phrases in and out from the hub like a roman candle.

The process that has brought the band to this point has included four singles (two on skin graft, two on other very important labels), a live cassette and one previous LP that Nick says he's embarrassed by, but I say it's certainly a decent enough debut. But it was on some French label and no one can find it anyway,so it's a moot point. "Face Of Collapse" was recorded in September of 1993 in Chicago by Steve Albini and comes closest to capturing the density of their lives shows. It is my lifelong dream that you will discard the unnecessary detritus in your life, including your geeky record collections, and grasp toward objects of TRUE VALUE, such as this, to carry down your path to fulfillment.

Randall Roberts / December 1993
(Written for the Face Of Collapse Presskit)

Sounds like: Shellac, Scratch Acid, Colossamite, Oxbow, Jesus Lizard