Is it the sound of a quarter life crisis? Is the sound of frustration and anger?
In their short lived existence, Kiss It Goodbye released just this full length album (and two singles), but She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not... is nine bursts of concentrated aggression that more or less bludgeon listeners' ears with the viciousness of a mass murderer. By taking the noise and chaos formula which the members perfected in Rorschach and then Deadguy and then adding a much thicker bottom end to create a much more full attack, Kiss It Goodbye create a record that is still unique and unparalleled to this day.
From the opening aural onslaught of “Helvetica” where the band wastes no time in pummeling ears with the sonic equivalent of boxing body shots and then wrecking people’s equilibrium with high pitched harmonics to the closing chords of “Put Your Head Down and Run”, She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not... is more akin to the genius raving of a crazed lunatic (listen to the vocalist scream “Turn It Off / Turn It Off / Turn Off Your Machine” over and over again at the end of “Helvitica” or the manic whispering in “Hartley” for perfect examples) set to the most viciously discordant music that a bunch of hardcore kids could muster. In between these two maniacal bookends sits the meat of an album that sounds like the soundtrack to an almost malevolent anger that is bent on lashing out at a world that has wronged the four people that collectively make up Kiss It Goodbye, and this never lets up for a second as even in the quieter moments there still seems to be a heavy trip going on in the music almost like the record is sitting back and playing with you like a cat toying with its prey before finally putting it out of its misery. I will admit, that there is so much about this album that I, well, worship that picking out bits and pieces to check out is virtually impossible; but allow me to at least point you to the magnificently venomous “What If” because it is such a vivid set of lyrics that if you ever had run ins with the police, you would instantly relate to the them and shaking your head in a solemn and silent agreement…
What’s that over there / is that what I think it is / don’t get wise with me… This doesn’t feel free / words aren’t free…
…until the words “What If I had the gun / What a target your badge would make” kick in and you just cannot help yourself anymore from screaming along with the record. It makes “Cop Killer” from Body Count (a song draped in tons of controversy when it came out for being anti-police or an advocating of an anti-police violence) seem like a joke in comparison to the sheer reality of “What If”.
This album almost never gets the widespread acclaim that it deserves and seems almost doomed to being a cult album (in a cult genre to begin with, a double whammy), and although this might seem a disservice, the manner in which it is overlooked seems not just fitting but also apropos; She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not... is a roadmap or at the very least a concrete document for anyone that has ever felt a concrete angst and even anger at the world around them, and I am not sure that anyone could ever quite replicate what Kiss It Goodbye unleash with the album.
9.5 / 10
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