KILL FOR THRILLS – Dynamite From Nightmareland [Remastered +4] (2016)
Before Gilby Clarke became a superstar replacing Izzy Stradlin in Guns N’ Roses, he formed KILL FOR THRILLS, a band that only needed one show in Hollywood to land a record deal with MCA Records in 1988. Kill For Thrills’ full length debut “Dynamite From Nightmareland” – longtime hard to find – has been finally fully remastered and featuring 4 bonus tracks.
Taking the frontman slot, Gilby Clarke enlisted Jason Nesmith (who is the son of Michael Nesmith from legends The Monkees) on guitars, bassist Todd Muscat (brother L.A. Guns / Sin City Sinners / Faster Pussycat guitarist Brent Muscat) plus drummer David Scott, and formed Kill For Thrills in 1987.
Stylistically, Kill For Thrills were a very different beast in the US hard rock scene of the time.
Whereas the early wave of Hollywood glam bands were firmly based in classic pop, ‘70s stadium rock and Van Halen-inspired hard rock, the bands that emerged in the latter part of the decade developed what was called hair metal: catchiness & melody.
Kill For Thrills lay somewhere in between: they weren’t as aggressive as Skid Row, they weren’t as danceable as Bon Jovi, and they weren’t easy as Poison, but blend all these with a personal touch, more creative and with an unique vibe.
The resulting sound is less conventional than many bands of the time, without sounding particularly original, the clever production gives the album an ‘authentic rock’ feel that puts Clarke’s considerable songwriting skill to the test.
The catchy ‘My Addiction’ or ‘Motorcycle Cowboys’ (one of my favorites) could be described as Guns N’ Roses meets Bon Jovi meets L.A. Guns, yet more organic. In fact, much of the material on the album has more in common with Saigon Kick, LA Guns or Enuff Z’nuff (without the full-on Beatles obsession).
Gilby Clarke’s slightly nasal vocal style is supplemented by higher gang vocals, which feature regularly through each song. Far from limiting the band, the use of multiple back-up vocals performed by all members expands the group’s sound considerably and are in fact one of Kill For Thrills’s most distinguished features, as the choruses to ‘Wedding Flowers’ and ‘Brother’s Eyes’ demonstrate.
Elsewhere, group vocals are used as counterpoint to the main melody, as in ‘Something For The Suffering’ and the moody & melodic ‘Ghosts & Monsters’.
Unfortunately for Kill For Thrills, MCA had a very haphazard approach to marketing hard rock at the end of the ’80s: the idea was to sign a ton of bands, throw them against the wall and see if they would stick. The label had no real commitment to artist development, which is why so many of the headbangers that MCA signed ended up being dropped.
Kill For Thrills was no exception, and “Dynamite From Nightmareland” turned out to be its only full-length album, and the band split next year.
Intelligent and emotional lyrics combined with a willingness to break free of the hair metal clichés make this album stand out from the rest of the pack when originally released in 1990. It’s melodic, plenty of punch, and there’s a real heart & soul on these rockin’ tracks.
Greatly remastered, this really welcomed reissue of “Dynamite From Nightmareland” features as bonus tracks the EP that Kill For Thrills recorded in 1988, a real plus to purchase this very good album.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Motorcycle Cowboys
02 – Commercial Suicide
03 – Brothers’ Eyes
04 – Paisley Killers
05 – Something For The Suffering
06 – Rockets
07 – Wedding Flowers
08 – Ghosts And Monsters
09 – My Addiction
10 – Misery Pills
11 – Silver Bullets
12 – I Wanna Be Your Kill
13 – Danger
14 – Pump It Up
15 – Silver Bullets (EP version)
Gilby Clarke: lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Todd Muscat: bass, background vocals
Jason Nesmith: guitars, sitar, background vocals
David Scott: drums, percussion, background vocals
BUY IT !