Chromatics-Kill For Love//Review

Chromatics’ new album Kill For Love has finally landed, 5 painful years since their last. Currently only on iTunes (and Soundcloud, see below), it’s soon to be released on delicious double vinyl, good news for those of us who like to touch up our music before we listen.

As anticipated this album is epic. At 91 minutes, spanning 17 tracks including a cheeky 14 minute closer, Kill For Love certainly delivers the goods. Following on from 2007’s Night Drive (alternatively known as Original Motion Picture Soundtrack IV), the beauty of Kill For Love is Chromatics’ ability to create these grand cinematic landscapes, conjured up by the mesmerising rhythm of the synths, the New Order-esque disco beats and the hypnotic distant vocals of Ruth Radelet that narrate the whole affair.

This is an incredible album, with huge emphasis on the word ALBUM. A dreamlike grandeur flows throughout the record, tying the songs together to create the feel of an epic whole. The noir-electro disco beats that Johnny Jewel and Chromatics have become famous for since Night Drive provide a pulsing energy, keeping you hooked from start to finish, and being a 17 track album, that’s no mean feat.  Kill For Love is a true tour de force; they weave suspense into the music like an electro Hitchcock. Using their synth wizardry they send goose bumps down your spine as the record twists and turns, building up to euphoric highs and melancholic lows, assaulting the senses from all angles.

One of the highlights has to be the first track, their cover of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)”, renamed “Into The Black” (a little confusing as the song “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)” also on Young’s Rust Never Sleeps, has slightly different lyrics). The infamous line ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’,  featuring in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, certainly fits the emotion of the album. But it’s the second song, title track “Kill For Love” which really sets the scene for what’s to come, plunging the listener into a roaring synth-fest. Others including “Candy” and “There’s A Light Out On The Horizon” are also amazing, but this album isn’t about singles, this is one great electro-noire marathon to be taken in all at once.

It’s clear to see why Johnny Jewel was asked to write the score for Drive, even if in the end it wasn’t used. Not letting that get him down, he released it anyway in the form of the 2 hour long Symmetry. However Night Drive’s “Tick Of The Clock” and “Under Your Spell” (a track from one of his many side projects Desire), were used in the film to great effect, and it’s his affinity for such cinematic themes that make Kill For Love such a masterpiece.

Words: Phil Roberts


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