A: "I think we're probably going to break up." - John Finley, guitarist (May 7th 2016)
In the summer of 2014, Josh Compton and the Kurtz Brothers packed a cassette recorder and drove south to a cabin in Killbuck, Ohio. The sessions that followed featured raspy vocals, warbly guitars and cavernous drums on future album cuts "In the Rain" and "Good as Gone". The songs resonate with bleak, cloud-obstructed light; peeking through car windows above blurred nameless highways headed to somewhere, anywhere but here.
After Joe, the older of the Kurtz brothers, moved to Florida in 2015, more songs were written, and another trip to Killbuck was in order. Guitarists John Finley and John King were added during the migration south in the summer of 2015. The cabin tape sessions rendered "Jenny on the Fritz", an angst-ridden ode to a beguiling, dangerous woman; "Leave it in Park", the tentative, defeated dreams of a restless homebody; and "On the Road Again, Again" a truck-driver's zen-like meditations set to the loop of a Willie Nelson tape stuck in the player.
The creativity garnered in those cabin recordings ranneth over into the day to day of the foursome, where they were joined by the bespectacled journeyman, Joe Farr, and his master bass skills. Now a five-piece, the band continued to meet and collaborate on heartland-soaked tunes full of Americana angst and Rust Belt blues, until what emerged was their self-titled debut album, the bulk of which was recorded live to a thrift store-purchased Panasonic Cassette Player. There's a unique thread running through the stories of all the members of Killbuck and their "son-rock" aesthetic. A palpable friction with family, friends, and the desolate landscape of forgotten, dilapidated middle-America. This friction is within the band itself, evidenced by the contrast of eminent dissolution and cathartic artistic realization. The music of Killbuck is a journey into a reoccurring dream between the curtains leaking streetlights and the harsh morning haze; a dream that flies along the interstate, back and forth from who we were, to who we've convinced everybody else we are.
Here on the brink of a new, uncertain America, perhaps the world could use a little of that dichotomy set to a tape recorder. Perhaps it could use a little Killbuck.
released January 20, 2017
Produced by Matt Kurtz and a $1 Stereo Panasonic Cassette Recorder
Mixed by Matt Kurtz, John King & John Finley
Artwork by Matt Kurtz