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The Living Kills bring all the fun of garage psychedelia -- instrumental freak-outs, creepy organ, 12-string guitar, lights shows, and lots of noise -- but with a decidedly modern sensibility. Unlike a lot of their peers, they aren't trying to emulate the past, but instead recreate a vision of the 1960s that didn't happen. They wear their love of creepy B-movies, horror and spooky thrillers on their collective sleeves but chills generated are reversed by the dance party music lovers cannot refuse.
The brainchild of songwriter, vocalist, and guitar player, Merrill Sherman, a Brooklyn transplant from Chicago and Alabama, the band was originally conceived as a meld of Paisley Underground and Jesus & Mary Chain, but instead, anchored by Sherman's storyteller lyrics and the addition of Jennifer Bassett on organ and moog, approached something more akin to the darker trips of Roky Erickson or The Pretty Things.
WNYC Culture praised their first single, back when the band was just a three-piece, joined by Kristen Girard on drums, for its "trippy nostalgia" and Factory-sensibility. The addition of Brenden Beu (The Tablets) on bass and later Yancy Sabenicio (Wailin' Storms) on drums displayed Sherman's wider range of influences and led to the band's first well-received full-length, the CMJ-charting "Faceless Angels," which was praised by Magnet Magazine for "its new yet surprisingly nostalgic tracks."
Now a five-piece, Sherman and Bassett are joined by Ross Fisher on bass (The Brides, Zodiac Killers), Western-hailed Heron Furtwangler on guitar (GoatRopers, Whiskey Dick Mountain, LEX LOSEr), and the Tri-State area's very own Brian Del Guercio on drums. Combined, their EP, "Odd Fellows Hall," features songs that dial up the creepiness, but add a dance-happy speed Ğ. Expect a new full length in early 2019.