By Kill Hannah
Kill Hannah's 'Until There's Nothing Left of Us' saw a US release in 2006. Now, two years later, it finally gets a UK release with a modified tracklisting that sees a number of the album's original songs dropped in favour of three tracks from Kill Hannah's as-yet-unreleased-in-the-UK debut, 'For Ever and Never.' The result is more a 'best of' than a coherent album, but you can hardly blame Kill Hannah for wanting to make the best possible impression on the UK audience.
'Until There's Nothing Left of Us' takes the atmospheric keyboards, synths and intricate musical layering of the darkwave genre and tones it down to create an undercurrent of darkness that runs beneath this album's poppish surface. Every song is polished to within an inch of its life, but there is always that subtle darkwave tinge that prevents this album from becoming just another slick and soulless addition to the pop-rock genre. 'Black Poison Blood' embraces this dark side with the most enthusiasm, with shimmering keyboards and brooding guitars making this a brilliantly black-hearted pop song.
Kill Hannah indulge their love of darkwave on two very masterful instrumental tracks. Without lyrical distraction, it becomes clear just how much thought goes into their music. The instrumental 'Life in the Arctic' has that cinematic sweep much beloved of epic goth bands, and sounds like Kill Hannah soundtracking a fantasy flic, although in their own unique style.
Kill Hannah throw another curveball by dabbling with electro for album highlights 'Lips Like Morphine' and 'Crazy Angel.' These are trance-tinged, glow-stick-friendly triumphs, with the sort of infectious bounce that is sure to pack out club dance floors.
Things do take a turn for the cheesy with 'Songs That Saved My Life' but, despite the emo song title and cliché subject matter, this song is bursting with so much genuine enthusiasm that you can overlook all that and just concentrate on enjoying this brooding pop song.
Scattered throughout are three songs off of previous releases, which are at a definite disadvantage when heard next to newer material. Oldie 'Kennedy' is all stuttering electro lurching awkwardly into a rocking chorus, and '10 More Minutes With You' lacks the sing-along appeal of later songs. Both are fine songs in themselves, but they just don't belong on this album. Here, they only serve to highlight how much Kill Hannah's sound has developed over the past few years. That said, the final oldie 'Boys and Girls' is a very slick mix of electro and rock and is utterly infectious, providing the album with a more light-hearted moment to combat its lurking darkness.
'Until There's Nothing Left of Us' plays like HIM in a less melancholy mood, or is what Mindless Self Indulgence might sound like if they cared about record sales. With this album, Kill Hannah have taken darkwave and given it an electronic and pop twist. It may be somewhat confused by a tracklisting that spans too much of Kill Hannah's career, but will no doubt become a favourite with those who, while not out for anything radical, want something that is slick, polished, accessible, but still a little bit different.