Psycho Melodic Kill Switch’s ‘The First 100 Days of Destruction’ “remains one of the most fascinating acts in the indie scene”
Earlier this year, the Saudi Arabian indie rock outfit Psycho Melodic Kill Switch released
‘This Ain’t Kansas Anymore,’ an eclectic, fiery commentary on the newly elected
president of the United States, Donald Trump. The record was one of the first
post-election Trump protests to come across my desk as a music critic, and it was a
wholly unique creative experimentation in free speech.
When I delved into that EP, I argued that Psycho Melodic Kill Switch was doing what
music can often do best: take a stand and make a point. The band was ahead of the curve,
too, because a slew of artists the likes of Arcade Fire, Mavis Staples, Bruce Springsteen,
the Gorillaz, and countless others followed with similar releases. Now Psycho Melodic
Kill Switch has returned to analyze the first one hundred days of Trump’s presidency
with a four track EP, ‘The First 100 Days of Destruction.’
As straight-shooting as ever, PMKS comes out on the EP guns blazing with ‘New England
Bride,’ a single taking aim at the Christian and alt-right, climate change deniers, and
more. “We’re on the other side, my New England Bride,” PMKS declares as they draw
battle lines in the sand between themselves and the radical populism and “post-fact”
nature of Trump’s America. It’s grungy, doused in distortion, and absolutely fantastic. It
sounds like a Sex Pistols track that was helped written by Roger Waters.
‘You With Stupid’ makes a triumphant return as well, previously released on 2016’s ‘Post
Negative Melody.’ It’s sped up, however, making it increasingly more punk-based, and it
is indeed a much tighter execution of the track. Like before, the track suffers no fools,
accusatorily questioning the often sheepish nature of radicalized politics. The song also
explores the sincerity of Trump’s promises to his supporters.
Another previously released tune makes an appearance on ‘The First 100 Days of
Destruction’ as well, the title track of ‘This Ain’t Kansas Anymore.’ Frankly, the track is
just as terrifying as it ever was, depicting an apocalyptic social and political landscape
that slowly devolves into totalitarianism and the quelling of insurrection and minorities.
The remix and remaster on the track is nicely executed, too, making this the de facto
version of the song.
‘The First 100 Days of Destruction’ ends in a particularly unique way: with an EDM dance
song called ‘Stupid Dance.’ Aptly titled, the track takes leave of the rest of the EP’s intense
political sensibilities for a bubbly jaunt through synthesizers and generic beats. It’s not a
notably good track. In fact, it can probably be disregarded by listeners in its entirety,
bringing nothing new or interesting to the table. At the same time, however, I adore it.
Only PMKS would end an angry, politically charged record with a dumbed down EDM
dance track. It’s so ridiculous, it’s brilliant.
Psycho Melodic Kill Switch remains one of the most fascinating acts in the indie scene,
one that’s delved headfirst into political commentary in a post-Trump, post-Brexit world.
It’ll be interesting to see how the band continues to develop their protests, and I’ll be
intrigued as to whether or not they’ll take aim at French politics and the rise of Marine
Le Pen in the near future, too. ‘The First 100 Days of Destruction’ is an excellent EP well
worth your time if you’ve previously dug what PMKS has to offer.
iTunes: The First 100 Days of Destruction EP – itunes.apple.com/gb/album/