February 16, 2008

CD Review: Slik Helvetika - Krypt Kicker 5

Slik Helvetika? I have to admit; when I first saw that name I thought it was going to be a font, seriously. You know, not arial but, you guessed it, helvetica. It is not a font that I use, but that was the immediate connection when seeing that name. I had no idea it was the name of a Philadelphia based heavy metal act until I this CD arrived in my mailbox. I remember hearing about a film called Helvetica, which chronicles typography and graphic design, it was released earlier this year to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the typeface; again, no reference to a metal band. So where did this name come from? I have no idea, nor could I find any reasoning on their website. In the long run it doesn't matter much, if we spent the time researching the origins of band names we would have that much less time to enjoy the music, or dismiss it and move on to something else.

Now, back to the band at hand. Slik Helvetika is the latest project of Destroyer's Mikhail Meyers, and it is pure 1980's era metal. If you are into the old school metal, along the lines of Judas Priest, Accept, and Overkill, Slik Helvetika may be worth spending some time with. It is nothing groundbreaking and will never be considered among the classics, but there is something to about it that is worth spending a little time with. Slik Helvetika delivers solid music with some catchy riffs, good production values, and a sound that is probably great live.

Krypt Kickers 5 is a brief five song EP, extended by interludes/intros between nearly every song. The first is the intro "Fine Dining," which sounds like a cross between an old Hammer horror film and something that used to kick off a late night 80's metal radio show. The final line of said intro is what seals the deal: "You know I only dine on tasty f***ing metal!"

This leads directly into the mean spirited "Bastard." The song comes complete with a catchy main riff and lyrics that place tongue firmly in cheek.

The theatrical fun continues with "You and Me." The catchy riffs continue, but the lyrics remind me of something that Poison would be singing in their heyday, although the music is not of the hair metal variety. It is an odd combination of styles, hair metal and heavy metal, that does not feel completely comfortable with either side of the equation.

Track 4 is the second interlude, "Towha's Son," where a man is on the phone saying that he was told that his son almost got eaten. That slips into "Crack the Sky," featuring vocals that are Halford-lite and heavily processed the point of being nearly incomprehensible.

Next up is a faux commercial featuring a statement by the "pope" mixed with some weird voices before cutting into the strong opening of "Pain." This is a good, mid-tempo rocker that has a nice melody and a catchiness that will get your head rocking ever so slightly.

We are on the home stretch when we reach "Drizzle," a rendition of "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head." This gives way to the very Judas Priest (Painkiller-era) sounding "Pray for the Future."

Krypt Kickers 5 is the sort of album that should be really easy to rip apart. It is not terribly original, exciting, or particularly memorable. However, I cannot find it in myself to go down that road. Why? Because the album is infectious while you are listening to it. There is plenty of solid music to get into. Every once in awhile there is an album that is fun enough to like, but insubstantial enough to have any deep feelings for. This is one of those albums.

Mildly Recommended.


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