New York City’s KILLCODE was first brought to my attention roughly four years ago completely by accident. A friend randomly mentioned them and the name got me curious. Shortly thereafter A&GS was born and KILLCODE became good friends of the site. We have been all-too happy to cover them sharing the stage with some of the greats like TWISTED SISTER, ADRENALINE MOB, and SKID ROW because as my dear friend and radio host Jim Chinnici put it, “They just might be the band that saves rock and roll.”
So here we are with full-length album number two The Answer, produced by Joey Z, and sporting ten tracks guaranteed to burn holes in your trousers. Singer Tom Morrissey, guitarists Chas and D.C. Gonzales, bassist Erric Bonesmith and drummer Rob Noxious have definitely crafted a good one with this release. For those of you not familiar with the band’s sound, it is pure, simple honest guitar-driven rock with the occasional shot of Southern swagger and boogie. And the good news is they didn’t stray from that sound here. Which is nice because quite frankly, they have a sound all their own.
Now, onto the songs. First thing that hit me was “Show Me”, a fast-paced tune made for driving down the highway of your choice at 2 a.m. top speed, while the guitar groove on “Shot” had me reaching for several. This is a song I can throw ‘em back to, which is sometimes the criteria for whether I like it or not! Immediately following this is another speedster in the form of “Bleed”. I can only imagine the fun these guys have playing this one live, because not only does it move, but it’s got a heavy, bone-crunching tone set by all five members.
One of the best tracks not only on this disc, but that the band has ever written comes in the form of “Own It Now”. A slow burning acoustic/electric affair dripping with emotion and featuring a guest appearance from OWL’S Chris Wyse, this is one of those songs that you don’t so much hear as FEEL. Every note, every nuance, and with a fantastic solo to boot, this one is truly something special. It’s back to hard rockin’ with “Kickin and Screamin”, another instant favorite and one that actually reminds me of Love Gun-era KISS, especially on the chorus. Knowing my insane love for that band, you bet yer ass that’s a compliment!
Mini-Amps seems to be rather taken with “Pick Your Side” and I can’t say that I blame him. Once again I come back to the guitars. Chas and D.C. are such a great team and they play off each other with such precision it’s frightening.“The Haunting” is exactly that; it’s slow, brooding, and you can feel a fog rolling in as it plays. Morrissey sounds pained, like a man who’s seen things he wishes he hasn’t over a lifetime, and that troubles him. An excellent song. “Slave” throws some off-times and tempo changes at you for good measure while still maintaining a rock quality.
Closing the disc is “Put It Off”, another acoustic tune featuring James Clisset on harmonica. This has the most Southern cooking on the whole thing but it never gets twangy or countrified, thank the Gods. Morrissey’s vocals shine brightly and are without question the star of the show on this one, even though Clisset does lay down some mean harp. At the end of the day The Answer is the album KILLCODE needed to make and the one that will put the rest of the rock world on notice. My friend Jim is right. They’re comin’, so you better be ready. Grab your copy HERE.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Show Me”, “Own It Now”, “Kickin and Screamin”, “The Haunting”, “Put It Off”