More than 30 years into their career, with 12 albums under their belt, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult returns with their latest album, In the House of Strange Affairs. The follow-up to 2014’s Spooky Tricks shows that the band remains as inspired and amorous as ever. Indeed, if you lost track of the band over the last few decades, Strange Affairs will instantly remind you why you loved them in the first place.
Clocking in at an hour in length, the 12 tracks on Strange Affairs have that sleazy swagger that first earned the band their die hard following back in the early 90’s. In fact, some tracks, like “Forbidden Saints” and “Studio 21,” sound like they’re hot off the Wax Trax! presses. Not that these are nostalgic throwbacks, per se, but the band definitely remembers where they came from. Others are more reminiscent of the 13 Above The Night/Hit and Run Holiday era of the band. “Royal Skull” and “Year of the Klown” could be outtakes from those albums, but that would be impossible as they’re just too good not to include on any album.
All of the above references aside, there’s plenty of fresh material here. Album opener “Gold to Grey” is a dark, slow-burning, and atmospheric track that sets up the songs that follow. “Strange Affairs,” “It’s Me Holly” and “Hanging Hearts” similarly aim to create a mood more than provoke ass-shaking. These songs are excellent examples of the creative fire still burning within the band, aiming to create an album, not just a collection of similarly sounding singles and b-sides.
The two big highlights on the album are the first single “The Chains of Fame” and “Treat Street.” With “The Chains of Fame’s” opening lyric, “How much cash can you make with that ass,” it’s all but destined to be a strip-club anthem for years to come. Aside from that, it’s just a rock-solid track that proves TKK knows their way around a song. Highly dance-able with some searing electric guitars adding flourishes to the pulsing synths and bass, “The Chains of Fame” is an instant greatest-hit in the bands lengthy catalog. “Treat Street” opens with a throwback drum machine beat and synth line, coupled with samples of a moaning woman. But, it surprises in many ways as its jazzy electric piano line rubs up against slinky synths, keyboards – and is that a saxophone? It’s a sophisticated arrangement and combination of instruments, samples, and sounds.
In the House of Strange Affairs is quintessential TKK. Doubtless, it will be welcomed with open arms by the bands longtime fans, but it should also win over anyone previously unfamiliar with their brand of decadent industrial-dance.
– J. Kevin Lynch
- Sun May 05 – Las Vegas @ Beauty Bar
- Tue May 07 – Salt Lake City @ Metro Music Hall
- Fri May 10 – Portland @ Dante’s
- Sat May 11 – Seattle @ The Crocodile
- Tue May 14 – Sacramento @ Harlow’s
- Wed May 15 – San Francisco @ DNA Lounge
- Thu May 16- San Jose @ The Ritz
- Tue May 28 – Tucson @ 191 Toole
- Thu May 30 – San Antonio @ Industry
- Fri May 31 – Austin @ Elysium
- Sat Jun 1 – Houston @ Numbers
- Sun Jun 2 – Dallas @ Trees
- Fri Jun 7 – Denver @ Marquis Theater
- Sun Jun 9 – Albuquerque @ Launchpad
- Tue Jun 11– Phoenix @ Club Red