- Genre : More Music
- Type : Video
- Author : Super Admin
- Date : Fri, 20 August 2004
The Bridge, the debut album by Southern California band Letter Kills, is a spirited manifesto of independence and self-belief - one that embraces numerous musical styles including 70's punk, pop, metal and even classic rock, and twists bends and ties them into something highly energized and instantly engaging.
The guitars on The Bridge are abrasive and explosive, the vocals yearning, pained and, yes, emotional. But don't call Letter Kills emo or screamo. Not that they hate that kind of music. They've actually toured with Thrice and consider Pedro the Lion an influence. However, they're disturbed by the way the sub-genre has come to define youth culture.
"It has become something that makes a kid cool. If you listen to certain bands, you can be popular, which kind of bums us out," singer Matt Shelton says. "We want to get back to the spirit where people listen to something because it's good and rocks and it doesn't matter what other people think."
From the start-stop riffing and multi-note licks that drive the screaming "Lights Out" to the ringing guitars and melancholy rhythm of "Hold My Heart," Letter Kills exhibits conviction, versatility and love for many types of music. Shelton's affection for singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash contrasts with guitarist Timothy Cordova's penchant for headbangers like In Flames and Children of Bodom. And everyone's mutual interest in legends like the Beatles and Tom Petty help connect the two sonic opposites.
"We're five different guys with different music tastes and different backgrounds, so instead of trying to force the music in any one direction we let everybody do their thing and go where it leads us," said Shelton. "At first, it was really frustrating because we were all the prominent songwriters in our previous bands, so we were all used to our own style. But having so many directions made me sing melodies I normally wouldn't have done, and it made us more original."
Letter Kills formed in August, 2002 after Shelton moved from Texas to Temecula. The singer had met Cordova in Texas earlier when Cordova's previous band LX45 was on the road. So, when Shelton arrived in California, he hooked up with Cordova, who was already playing with drummer Paul Remund. With the addition of local musicians guitarist Dustin Lovelis and bassist Kyle Duckworth, the lineup was complete.
The band started writing original songs right away, and before long it were playing out everywhere from birthday parties to dive clubs. With every show Letter Kills got more comfortable with each other's playing style and personality, and before long they were chugging like a powerful machine. "At first we were really concerned about whether or not we would gel as musicians," Shelton admitted. "But we stretched our boundaries and got used to playing with each other really fast. Everything was really natural, and we've grown to be like brothers."
In March 2003, Letter Kills recorded their debut three-song EP at Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, California over a three day period. All three tracks, "Don't Believe," "Radio