With their new single Killing Floor, Rival Shadows hit it hard from the off. This is one beaty stomp of a song which gives me echoes of the huge stadium gig. Hahaha, I swear I’m not just hallucinating about live music now we can just about taste it, this is a tune. I close my eyes and I swear there’s the sun, the gentle breeze and an audience rapt into the moment. I get the sweeping huge tune ambition of the likes of The National beaded through Rival Shadows, and a real instinctive sense of what hits the spot.
Rival Shadows is the brainchild of Lancashire son Liam Kohlar. Liam has cut his teeth on a couple of previous projects and with bands, and all that experience is coming to the fore with Rival Shadows. Killing Floor is the Rival Shadows second single, and the first Breathe, shows a more musically reflective side to Liam’s music, although with the commonality of the grand sweeping musical ambitions.
Speaking of reflective, Killing Floor has lyrics which really capture that sense of paralysis and loss of power that can accompany extreme anxiety, and that wondering whether this is the time you don’t pull it back; all going on while you fight to master these emotions. The mix of electronic and rock in the tune rather gives a sense of that battle, there’s a controlled element and then a wild angry and unpredictable guitar.
I don’t like to stick a label on an artist and pop them in an pre allocated box in the cupboard, but with this track there’s something of Bombay Bicycle Club with that rocky electronic heavy sound, and so the fans of music of the type of BBC and the aforementioned The National will find a comfortable and safe haven here.
* Images are taken from Killing Floor’s social media