Kittie raised plenty of eyebrows in the metal community last year by infiltrating commercial rock radio with a sound that borrowed heavily from the most extreme corners of the underground. It didn’t hurt either that they were four teenage girls from the tiny Ontario city of London (halfway between Buffalo and Detroit). Now whittled down to a trio after the departure of guitarist/vocalist Fallon Bowman, the band are back with a second album that makes even fewer concessions to the mainstream.
On the first single, "What I Always Wanted," frontwoman Morgan Lander screeches and moans her way through a dark tunnel of fierce metal riffage that leads her to a thrashing dead end. It’s not pretty, and the rest of the disc is similarly concerned with black moods, obscure hooks, and funereal tempos. The highlight is the amped-up cover of Pink Floyd’s "Run like Hell," which strikes an exhilarating balance between beauty and horror and ends with an unscripted noise-guitar freakout. "In Winter" is their big pop move, its goth-metal misery illuminated by Lander’s wavering vocal melodies. The band could stand to broaden their rhythmic horizons a little, but they’ve got claws.
(Kittie headline the Roxy this Friday, November 16. Call 617-338-ROXY.)
Issue Date: November 15 - 22, 2001
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