My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

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Confessions Of A Knife

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions Of A Knife ©1990 Wax Trax!
1. A Daisy Chain 4 Satan (Acid And Flowers Mix)
2. The Days Of Swine And Roses
3. Hand In Hand
4. Waiting For Mommie
5. Confessions Of A Knife (Theme Part I)
6. Ride The Mindway
7. Rivers Of Blood, Years Of Darkness
8. Kooler Than Jesus (Electric Messiah Mix)
9. Burning Dirt
10. Confessions Of A Knife (Theme Part II)
11. Do You Fear (The Inferno Express?)

"I live for drugs."

You may well believe that Groovie Mann and his compatriots, the Bomb Gang Girlz, do indeed live for drugs if you listen to Confessions of a Knife. They may also be on a bullet train to Hell...but they're probably having wild, kinky sex on the way and might even like their destination, so never mind.

This incarnation of the TKK hit upon an interesting mix of stereotypical early-'90s industrial backing music (repetitive synths, skittering drum machines, odd samples...you know the drill) coupled with a funky bass, which makes for an interesting listening experience that you don't get very often. When the band gets down and lets the good times roll, the results are hypnotic and addictive. However, on the majority of tracks, things seem a bit forced, as if the TKK were concentrating more on being scary than on grooving, and the results are far less interesting. For example, track two, "The Days of Swine and Roses", which features the gloriously offensive chorus "Christian zombie vampires", is among the disc's better songs...but it just doesn't have the staying power of the excellent first track, "A Daisy Chain 4 Satan".

Speaking of that particular song...its only equal on the disc is "Kooler Than Jesus", a thoroughly funky track which, when paired with the aforementioned album opening cut, forms a pair of tunes that make ownership worthwhile, if not quite mandatory. The other groovalicious songs, "The Days of Swine and Roses", "Waiting for Mommie", "Ride the Mindway" and "Confessions of a Knife (Theme Part II)" are enjoyable in their own right yet don't quite measure up to this golden standard. In contrast, the remaining tracks are generally uninspired semi-atmospheric-cum-industrial tracks that conspire to drag down the rest of the album to the status of an extremely uneven yet overall enjoyable album, rather than the must-have status it could have achieved.

Confessions of a Knife really isn't worth buying at full retail price. Pick it up used and keep it, definitely.

Review by Jonathan Arnett

Review date: 11/2000


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Sinister Whisperz - Volume One: The 'Wax Trax' Years (1987-1991)

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult - Sinister Whisperz - Volume One: The 'Wax Trax' Years (1987-1991) ©2010 Sleazebox Records
1. And This Is What The Devil Does (Fade To Blacklight Mix)
2. Burning Dirt (The Hand That Bleedz Mix)
3. Do U Fear…For Your Child? (Klub Hell Mix)
4. Nervous Xians (Le Carnival Mix)
5. The Days of Swine & Roses (The Puppet Mix)
6. These Remains (TranzLucious Mix)
7. Shock Of Point 6 (Forbidden Saints Mix)
8. A Daisy Chain 4 Satan (4 Ever & Ever Mix)
9. Ride The Mindway (Acideater Mix)
10. Kooler Than Jesus (AC/DC Dog Mix)
11. Leathersex (All Tied Up Mix)
12. A Girl Doesn't Get Killed By A Make-Believe Lover…'Cuz It's Hot (Demon Seed Mix)
13. Satana Rising (previously unreleased)

Pop quiz, hotshot: What do these albums have in common?
Abba — Gold, The Cure — Standing on a Beach, Bob Dylan's — Greatest Hits, The Eagles — Their Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits Volume 2, Echo & The Bunnymen — Songs to Learn and Sing, Jimi Hendrix — Experience Hendrix, Journey — Greatest Hits, Pet Shop Boys — Discography, Bob Marley — Legend, Pink Floyd — Echoes, Simon & Garfunkel — Greatest Hits.

The answer, in case it eludes you, O Captain Obvious, is simple. Each of these albums is a classic collection, and any fan of one of these artists is likely to own and play it. Sometimes, though, career retrospectives turn out better in theory than in practice. Such is the case with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's Sinister Whisperz: The Wax Trax! Years (1987–1991).

Theoretically speaking, Sinister Whisperz should utterly rule, as it covers the five years TKK spent on the Wax Trax! label, the band's most innovative and intriguing period, and features cuts from four of the band's first five major releases—their eponymous debut EP; I See Good Spirits & I See Bad Spirits; Confessions of a Knife; and Sexplosion!—and wraps up with a previously unreleased bonus track. What's more, founding members Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy handpicked the tracks and released the album on TKK's own Sleazebox label, thereby ensuring quality and consistency.

That being said, Groovie and Buzz made some odd choices with mixes, and they omitted several key tracks that a serious TKK collection should have. In terms of mixes, the tracks seem to have been remixed, some radically. For example, "A Daisy Chain 4 Satan" lost over a minute in length; the "4 Ever & Ever" mix on Sinister Whisperz only lasts 4:55, whereas the "Acid And Flowers" mix on Confessions of a Knife runs 5:31, and the original version appearing on the A Girl Doesn't Get Killed By A Make-Believe Lover…'Cuz It's Hot single plays for 6:22. And speaking of "...'Cuz It's Hot," that song really got the axe. The original version clocks in at a monumental and super-funky 10:17, but the version on Sinister Whisperz only runs a trim 4:32. There's something to be said for brevity, but half of the original's fun was its length.

Furthermore, the remixes change the classic Wax Trax! studio sound that characterizes the original versions. Admittedly, the new mixes make the songs sound brighter and more modern, but the change also removes some of what made TKK interesting in the first place, and—dare I say it?—the remixes run lighter on the bass and just don't thump like the original versions did.

In terms of missing tracks, Sinister Whisperz lacks several essential TKK cuts: "Waiting for Mommie," "The Devil Does Drugs," "Devil Bunnies," and, in what seems to be a glaring omission, TKK's biggest hit, "Sex on Wheelz." Space is probably the reason for omitting the first, but it's a funky, funky track that simply begs to be included. The second two may have been left off as a strategic decision because Sinister Whisperz would then contain five of the seven tracks on the Kooler Than Jesus EP. Fair ‘nuff. But as far as "Sex on Wheelz" goes, one can only guess why it's AWOL; the usual suspect, legal problems, don't seem to be why, as both it and "Leathersex" appear on Sexplosion! It's a mystery.

All that being said, Sinister Whisperz isn't a bad album. It's a worthwhile listen for a fan of the band's early-‘90s era or someone who wants to hear what all the fuss was about, fills an important gap in the band's discography that 1994's subpar The Be(a)st of TKK tried to fill, and isn't a moneygrab by a jilted record company. Still, Sinister Whisperz is just that—not bad—and falls far short of indispensible.

Review by Jonathan Arnett

Review date: 08/2010

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