Kill Devil Hills
"36 Minute Struggle"

(Honest In Secret 2001)Kill Devil Hills - 36 Minute Struggle

The aptly titled "36 Minute Struggle" by Kill Devil Hills is a collection of thirteen songs will all the sounds of a hardcore meets punk album: screaming, squeaking guitars and driving rhythms. Reminding often of a number of bands, almost certainly their influences, the band seems to pay respect to some of the two genres' founding bands. But after one listen, it becomes clear that "struggle" refers as much to their edgy sound as their angsty lyrics.

With a sound mixing hardcore with Fugazi, "Moving Enclosed" opens the album with a slight melody and a good amount of energy that gets your attention. "Arbuthnot" reminds of Hot Water Music and uses a catchy rhythm on the chorus while the instrumentation of "Walkout" varies dynamically as does the vocals, which sound like a mix of NoFX and, again, Hot Water Music. The bass driven "Public Office," with a strong chorus but verses that lack, and "Actions Are Stronger," with tight percussion, offer a bit of change in sound from the previous tracks while, meanwhile, the use of guitar harmonies in the intro of "Riding 565" reminds of Fugazi.

As the band progress through their "36 Minute Struggle," the sound seems to slowly morph towards punk. "Before the Stokes Street Project" -- which closes with the repeating of possibly the only memorable lyrics on the album, "And you wonder why I'm so bitter" -- and "Relevant Questions" reflect well the change in sound, which is cleaner and more straightforward. Kill Devil Hills try to give one last high energy kick before closing with "Murder on Haywood Lane" which alternates between low-key instrumental parts and rough vocals to create both a calm and chaotic sound.

Kill Devil Hills' "Struggle" is likely to be of interest to hardcore fans. While the band does not offer anything exceptional on the album, they do their own thing well, with confidence. If nothing else, it is obvious by the energy of each song that Kill Devil Hills put a lot into their work.