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Kowch [reviews]
Killing The Machines |Kowch, 2010|

01. Intro (We Will Destroy), 02. Behind The Sinister, 03. It’s Over, 04. Killing The Machines, 05. Passive Transmissions, 06. MASSMEDIAPARANOIA, 07. Keep It In, Keep It Out, 08. Hatemaker, 09. Out Of The Void (feat. Sum Of Daze), 10. Psycho Bug Stomper (Splattered Mix), 11. Skullgrinder, 12. Subliminal Lootings, 13. It’s Over (Defrag Mix)


Kowch is a British project of Neil Murray, who makes music mostly himself but involves additional musicians sometimes too. His music contains a variety of influences, but the final result goes far beyond them. His unique style is represented by high quality guitar playing skills (“Hatemaker”), and since he mixes guitar riffs with electronics (“Subliminal Lootings”) it touches the industrial rock style amongst all the deepest (“Behind The Sinister”, “Out Of The Void (feat. Sum Of Daze)”, “Psycho Bug Stomper (Splattered Mix)”.

Somebody who knows what music making is all about, or at least listens to a variety of music styles, will hear a lot of influences in Neil’s music; not only those mentioned above, but also ethnic (“Passive Transmissions”), indie (“Keep It In, Keep It Out”), alternative rock (“It’s Over”), & new wave rock (“Killing The Machines”, “Skullgrinder”). However, these influences don’t cover the vastness of Neil’s ideas at all, because there are no typical templates used, and it speaks for his personal idiosyncratic ideas as well.

My favourite songs are “MASSMEDIAPARANOIA” for somewhat high tension atmospheres and amazing guitar riffs like in Pink Floyd or King Crimson music, with very well done arrangements enriching the construction of the song.
“Hatemaker” caught my ear at once alike with its animated guitar riffs and well matched beats that parallel bass lines which don’t overpower the guitars. I had a good time listening to “Passive Transmissions” too, because the song flew through my brain easily thanks to ethnic add-ons and guitar riffs. It made me focus on its flow, but did not distract my attention with incorrectly placed samples or beats, which is commonplace to many arrangements of other bands music I’ve heard & suffered through.

The "Killing The Machine"s album includes an array of 95% purely instrumental songs (except of “It’s Over” and “MASSMEDIAPARANOIA”) which are designed so smartly that they could sound still good with vocals. Neil’s bright guitar riffs replace vocal parts perfectly, however if he thought of a lead singer for the band sometime, then voices similar to great singers like Tori Amos, Deborah Dyer (Skunk Anansie), Lucia Cifarelli (KMFDM), Hanin Elias (Atari Teenage Riot), or very clear loud hard rock male vocals would do that music some true justice. I’m certain though, that any rude female vocals, emo or depressive goth howling, as well as industrial distortions would ruin the subtle music of Kowch quickly.

This album includes a perfect mixture of songs for intelligent listeners who demand more than lame marching rhythms or boring remixes.

(NINa, 04/05/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)


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