Thrill Kill Kult

Published on October 29th, 2019

Perfect storms may leave brutal devastation in their wake but there is something beautifully natural in their formation and existence. How could anyone deny such a destructive force its right to be? As it obliterates in nature, it does so as well in music. Specifically, in the “musical” output of Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy – the sole regulars of the perfect storm known as My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.

Formed in 1987 in Chicago by Mann (aka Frankie Nardiello) and McCoy (aka Marston Daley) and forever linked to the Windy City’s Wax Trax! Records stable, the founders have surrounded themselves with a rotating Kult cast, and as many people as can possibly fit a stage while ostensibly filling musical roles in the band’s aggro carnival of industrial excess. Challenging all social mores with the chutzpah and stamina of bored teenagers, their art has been unbridled and in your face, in earnest, since forever.

Thrill Kill Kult

Industrial pioneers with a sense of melody, TKK have earned the respect and admiration of filmmakers like Ralph Bakshi and Paul Verhoeven and the ire of decency and censorship groups like the PMRC. Their inclusion in Alex Proyas’ 1994 film, “The Crow,” brought them a form of mainstream appeal, with the tragedy befalling the film’s star, Brandon Lee, furthering the band’s cult status and connection to a fallen idol.

But what is often overlooked, is the “American Psycho” ambience of its mainstays: Mann and McCoy, two attractive, seemingly harmless white guys — an artist and a musician, respectively — who first set out to make a film inspired by the trash cinema of John Waters and Russ Meyers based on their shared contempt for normal society and a bizarre humor which holds no one and nothing sacrosanct.

They could’ve made a killing as models. But then the world would’ve been deprived of “Sexplosions!”, the blasphemy of “Kooler Than Jesus,” “Confessions of a Knife” and countless other artful demolitions. Their latest album, “In the House of Strange Affairs,” continues a legacy of discord with somber danceability. But it is live on stage where TKK really excel in all of their destructive fullness.

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult perform 8pm Sunday November 3 with Curse Mackey and Obsidian at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. ~ Abel Folgar

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