Review Summary: Pop punk fused with new wave electronics and huge hooks that only suffers due to the circumstances surrounding its release.
They say that an object that burns intensely is more prone to fizzling out just as quick, and that is apparently what happened to A Kiss Could Be Deadly. Within a year of forming, they had already signed to Metropolis Records and had toured with the likes of The Aquabats
, I Am Ghost
and The English Beat
. Their infectious blend of pop punk, new wave electronics, and huge hooks was earning them accolades long before the release of their first album. Of course, it also didn’t hurt that they had an excellent female vocalist in Lauren Baird. When they finally did release their self-titled debut in 2008 the attention only seemed to increase, but eventually the band quietly removed itself from the public eye. After two years of silence, A Kiss Could Be Deadly has finally returned with a new EP entitled Farewell
, and apparently they don’t plan on sticking around for long. As the album name clearly implies, Farewell
will be the band’s final release before they disappear for good. Unfortunately, that realization puts the EP under more scrutiny than it would have received as a simple stop-gap release and the final product is a bit of a disappointment. As a swansong release, Farewell
’s short duration and lack of new material prohibits it from being the type of ‘going-out-on-top’ product that the band are truly capable of producing.
The two new tracks, “I’ll Be Your Anti-Hero, Baby” and “Only in Darkness” are both excellent songs that effectively fuse upbeat pop punk and electronics in equal amounts, but with more grit than the debut album. Lauren Baird’s vocals also shine on these two tracks as her voice playfully dances over the top of the music. Unfortunately, the end of “Only in Darkness” also signals the end of any new material. Following the two original tracks is a cover of the hit Berlin
song, “Metro.” It’s a poppy track that returns the electronics to the forefront of the band’s sound, and fits their style seamlessly. It’s also an excellent choice for a cover because most people will probably recognize the chorus even if the song title and band name don’t ring any bells. The final three tracks are listed as remixes of songs taken from the band’s self-titled debut, but they’re a little more than that. The songs are actually re-worked in order to provide a whole new feel while still remaining true to the spirit of the originals. Their inclusion would be a great way to round out an EP if it was only a stop-gap release, but as the final tracks of the band’s final release they feel a little underwhelming.
It’s a shame that A Kiss Could Be Deadly couldn’t manage to release an entire album of new material. If “I’ll be Your Anti-Hero, Baby” and “Only in Darkness” are any indication of the band’s potential direction, the album would have been great. Instead, Farewell
concludes with a cover song and three remixes that, while really good, are just not adequate replacements for new songs. If looked at without considering the circumstances surrounding it, though, Farewell
is an exellent EP that contains two great new songs, an well-done cover song, as well as three impressive remixes – but it’s hard to get past the fact that it’s still over too soon, and probably for good.