My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult are stepping back out of the darkness to release their newest collection of sleaze, Spooky Tricks, upon the world.

I discovered My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (TKK) in 1991 seeing them live in Detroit, Michigan on their Sexplosion! Tour.

This electronic, industrial, rock band mixed their music with club heavy beats. They’ve blended in funk and disco with psychedelic house beats, yet were often amplified to a sometimes abrasive level. They definitely did not fall into the typical industrial rock category, but a category in which one might call industrial disco. They had an interesting stage show which featured an actual bar and bartender onstage with a disco ball. The stage certainly had a lounge vibe going on!

There was also a male/female duo known as Ten and Avaluscious White who appeared onstage dressed in a number of different guises. At one point, Ten was dressed as Jesus, strapped to a cross and featuring a large black dildo between his legs. Avaluscious White was dressed as a demon girl, simulating oral sex on him. It was sleazy with demented undertones.

This controversially fun live show had me hooked from the beginning. The music was great, the instrumentalists were incredible. This, combined with wonderful back-up vocals and dancing, performed by the Bomb Gang Girlz, turned me into an instant fan!

Fast forward to twenty-three years later and I am given a copy of their new album, Spooky Tricks, to review. I am happy to receive this and curious as to how their sound has evolved over these past years. I was pleasantly surprised!

Groovie Mann (Frankie Nardiello) and Buzz McCoy (Marston Daley) remain the two constant conspirators behind TKK. Rounding out the rest of the band is Mimi Star (bass), Justin Thyme (drums), and Westin Halvorson (guitar).

Released on the band’s own label, Sleazebox Records, Spooky Tricks was recorded and mixed at Starlust Studios in Los Angeles, California with Buzz McCoy acting as producer and mixer. Collin Jordan mastered the album at The Boiler Room in Chicago, Illinois. Guest appearances include Arena Rock (vocals), Viva Nova (vocals), and DJ Toxic Rainbow.

On this, their 13th studio release, they blend their trademark bizarre film samples and provocative lyrics, with classic 70’s disco and 80’s new wave beats.

Originally from Chicago, this Los Angeles based band has built a reputation for making the darkest elements of the world sound sexy. This album is no different. The lyrics are often kept to a minimum, relying more on the music and the occasional movie sample.

With Groovie Man’s digitized demonic vocals, the first lustful track, Room On The Moon, resembles that of their first album I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits. The straightforward message, “If I give you some money, will you come to my room?” is classic TKK. There is a continuous groove that does not end until the very last second of the very last track.

Other tracks reminding me of the bands earlier material is The Way We Live Now and Sex Witch. They have that dark, vampy vibe, TKK fans have come to love.

Hell Kat Klub, Neon Diva, Bella Piranha, and Dope Freak are light-hearted ravers similar to that of the band’s middle era work.

Monti Karlo and Diamonde Doll have that Sexplosion! Feel to them. Both are fun, danceable tracks. Monti Karlo adding some horns and Diamonde Doll adding what sounds like saxophone. Both have background vocals ala Bomb Gang Girlz style!

Spooky Tricks and The Strange Ones, my two favorite tracks, blend the best of everything TKK has to offer. These tracks mix a little bit of each era of TKK, keeping the sound fresh for today’s new listener.

TKK has managed to pull off a solid album that encompasses the reason why fans fell in love with their music in the first place. This album satisfies the fans of their earlier ‘demonic’ side, as well as fans of their ‘acid-funk-disco’ side, while incorporating enough modern and updated beats to keep the groove fresh.

It’s a lighter record in tone, with a more dance-oriented groove, but classic TKK from start to finish.

The band has announced tour dates for their Spooky Tricks tour. The 2014 tour dates are:

  • 5/28 Ramona, CA @ Mainstage
  • 5/29 Hermosa Beach, CA @ Saint Rocke
  • 5/30 Corona, CA @ M15
  • 5/31 Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyenne Saloon
  • 6/01 Albuquerque, NM @ Low Spirits
  • 6/03 Tulsa, OK @ IDL Ballroom
  • 6/04 Dallas, TX @ Trees
  • 6/05 Austin, TX @ Elysium
  • 6/06 San Antonio, TX @ The Korova
  • 6/07 Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
  • 6/08 New Orleans, LA @ One-Eyed Jack’s
  • 6/10 Jacksonville, FL @ Brewster’s Megaplex
  • 6/11 Richmond, VA @ Fallout
  • 6/12 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
  • 6/13 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
  • 6/14 Stafford Springs, CT @ Stafford Palace Theater
  • 6/15 New York, NY @ Santo’s Party House
  • 6/17 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
  • 6/18 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
  • 6/19 Grand Rapids, MI @ Stache at Intersection
  • 6/20 Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
  • 6/21 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
  • 6/22 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall
  • 6/24 Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
  • 6/25 Salt Lake City, UT @ Lo-Fi Café
  • 6/27 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
  • 6/28 Portland, OR @ Dante’s
  • 7/01 San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
  • 7/02 Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go-Go

Sppoky Tricks

Thrill Kill Kult online:


About The Author

Erik's interest in music began at an early age. In high school, he was the co-host of the underground metal show the Social Mutilation Hour, on 89.5 WAHS, under the name of Neurotik Erik. During this period of his life, he independently promoted shows under the name of Ding Dong Ditch Productions. Erik would rent out local VFW Halls, use space at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus, or simply throw basement parties around the Detroit area. While at college at Ferris State University, he became head of the student run organization, Entertainment Unlimited, and continued to promote shows, but on a larger scale. He also helped start an underground magazine, 'Outpunk', where he interviewed bands and wrote music reviews. Additionally, Erik joined the staff at the Ferris State University Torch and wrote on a larger scale.

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