Kiss Me Screaming
March 31, 1995 Goldmine review by Cub Koda: We have sung the praises of Kiss Me Screaming in this column once before when they released a pip of an indie 45 a while back called "Avalanche." In the glut of new bands that all seem to be vying for top honors at the annual angst award banquet, these guys stand out a fur piece from the pouty flannel shirt boys. They're weird, they're fun, they're inventive, they're disturbing. In short, KMS comes up with a real home run on this, the debut album from this Ann Arbor, Michigan quartet. "Avalanche," included here along with 13 others, is a stone hit and a major source for impromptu kitchen dancing around the house, but the whole shebang rocks while simultaneously giving you reason to pause. It's about as cutting edge as you could possibly as for these days but still sounding like a real rock â€-n' roll band. Live, they sound exactly like this, even with the home projector silent dinosaur movies being projected over the bandstand. At their press release party, they played at a bowling alley wearing matching bowling shirts and making their entrance coming down the lanes while spaghetti Western music played in the background. Lotsa class, some would say. Fronted by former Map Of The World (they was on Atlantic for a cup of coffee) singer-songwriter-guitarist Khalid Hanifi, fueled by the aggressive and quirky lead guitar work of Brian Delaney and the highly musical tag team of drummer Donn Deniston and bassist Oni Werth, the music KMS produces moves from melodic to atonal, sometimes shifting right in mid-song and back again like a parallel circuit in a TV set. The collective sound they produce can be likened to taking the first three Stooges albums (that is, the first three albums by Iggy's Stooges, not the first album by Larry, Moe and Curly), Pet Sounds, Revolver and the first Cheap Trick album, throwing them all into a blender and setting it on grind. Their appeal is both cross-generational and not; the kids like â€-em and so do the old farts until they actually listen to what's being sung, then they don't dance quite so aggressively to it. There's something here that's real, honest, and cutting edge without being a bunch of trendy posing, while the songs stick in your brain like the best termitology that be rock â€-n' roll. This is good, this is stuff that'll give ya reason to live, or at least go to work the next morning.