Kill City Kills: ‘Badlands I’

Released on September 25, 2020 (Kill City Kills)

Russian rockers Kill City Kills follow up their rather fine 2019 EP Straight From The Heart of Nowhere with their first alleged full album which,  judging by the title, may lead you to believe that there is a sequel in the offing. Badlands I opens with an odd spoken word intro over buzzing guitars for about 45 seconds before launching into “(Can You Hear) The Midnight Call” complete with rousing call to arms lyrics, gang styled backing vocals and superb guitar work from Nikki Tishkov and Roma Loshakov. “Unholy Roller” follows suit with singer Ellis Sylvain’s marvellously menacing vocals complimenting more stunning band work.

“No Gods Upon Us” is another silly, spoken word minute that is obviously designed to illustrate some sort of concept but all it really does is annoy you at its rather pointless pretension. “Generation Babylon” is one of the singles and it’s not hard to see why. It has an instant chorus with more than a hint of Crazy Lixx to it amongst another fine performance by the entire band that is driven by the quality drumming of Andrew Sherapko. “Bad Blood” is another radio friendly rocker with more than a little echo of Mötley Crüe around the Saints of Los Angeles era – a comparison which could flow through most of the actual songs on here.

“Bless of A Broken Heart” is a pretty minute long instrumental that seems unfinished and completely out of place here, before the storming “”Die Another Day” with its Avenged Sevenfold overall feel and almost Tokyo Blade style guitar solo, that are surely plaudits in anyone’s opinion, alongside Sylvain’s once again fine delivery. “Our Destination Is Cursed” does have the atmosphere of a Mad Max film and boasts lyrics like “hopelessly insane…” which surprisingly fall just the right side of believable within its context. The set ends with yet another completely unnecessary 30 second instrumental brazenly called “A Cry For Vengeance”, that completely belies its own title and ends proceedings with  a complete whimper rather than the bang it should’ve been.

Badlands I isn’t a concept album as would appear to be presented and packaged with the threatened possible sequel. It’s a six-song EP with tiresome, irritating and pointless drivel sandwiching each two-song batch. The production is shiny and clear, the band kick the required ass and Ellis Sylvain is an excellent vocalist throughout. So the message is clear as far as I’m concerned — ditch the pompous, bloated narration filler nonsense and stick to the songs, because the six that are actually on here are indeed killer.

Track List:
01. Prelude For The End
02. (Can You Hear) The Midnight Call
03. Unholy Roller
04. No Gods Upon Us
05. Generation Babylon
06. Bad Blood
07. Bless of A Broken Heart
08. Die Another Day
09. Our Destination Is Cursed
10. A Cry For Vengeance.

Band Members:
Ellis Sylvain – vocals
Nikki Tishkov – guitars, backing vocals
Roma Loshakov – guitars, backing Vocals
Andrew Sherapko – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, May 2021

Kill City Kills‘ “(Can You Hear The Midnight Call)” video:

Kill City Kills‘ “Generation Babylon” video:

Kill City Kills‘ “Die Another Day” video: