Well here’s a surprise: the self-titled debut album from KILL DEVIL HILL is a pretty good record. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much. Their name is over-used – having been slapped on at least one film, and recently there was that ILL BILL and DJ MUGGS collaboration called KILL DEVIL HILLS, not to mention an Australian group by that name (taken from a place in North Carolina), and a IRON MAIDEN Bruce Dickenson song that’s actually called ‘Kill Devil Hill.’ Toss in numerous bands that have mentioned or eluded to the NC region, and yeah – I would’ve called my band something else, but that’s not what Vinny Appice, Rex Brown, Dewey Bragg, and Mark Zavon did. They’re KILL DEVIL HILL.
Led by the monstrous rhythm section of Brown (ex-PANTERA, DOWN) and Appice (former-BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL), KILL DEVIL HILL is a dozen-song batch of sludgy groove that taps into a niche normally occupied by the likes of Brown’s previous bands, along with those like TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, and HELLYEAH. Zavon’s riffage is powerful, something that would’ve been sadly overlooked had he stayed playing as guitarist #559 in RATT, and “unknown” (per press release) vocalist “Dewey” Bragg (ex-PISSING RAZORS) is impressive – leading to ALICE IN CHAINS comparisons that are not without merit.
KILL DEVIL HILL really wastes no time in bringing the groove as they open up the record with “War Machine,” a soundtrack-ready anthem that presents the band working together seamlessly.
Listen to “VooDoo Doll” (courtesy Noisecreep)
Some of the album’s best tracks are clustered dead-center in the 5,6,7 positions with ”Rise From the Shadows,” ”We’re All Gonna Die,” and ”Strange.”
A little bit of back-end fatigue, but things wrap-up well for an album that might find itself in rotation quite a bit (in-between all the Kid’s Music here at Rock Father HQ).
KILL DEVIL HILL is out on May 22, 2012 in North America via STEAMHAMMER/SPV.
The Rock Father Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: A digital copy of KILL DEVIL HILL was provided to The Rock Father on behalf of STEAMHAMMER/SPV Records for review consideration.