A refreshing wave in Victoria's explosive music scene and quite possibly one of the most unique displays within the city (if that’s even possible), Death Kart is something out of the ordinary. From 80’s influenced pop tunes, to soul wrenching progressive piano ballads, Death Kart has the innate ability to to make a song fresh, interesting, chic even. Displaying affection towards a lyrical expression, Death Kart’s songs are something the listener can relate to, as well as fill themselves with the urge to dance the night away.
“Just another god damn post punk band from Victoria, BC”... Hardly.
Death Kart is one of those bands that when you see live, you become captivated by each member, separately, throughout their show. I first saw Death Kart at Logan's back in the winter of last year, Curtis Lockhart (vocals, guitar) was up on stage, dressed like a professor of some sort, holding a glass of wine. He gathered his attending students for the nights lesson. ‘This is how you write a song’ I imagined him saying. Sure, Curtis displays a fantastic vocal position, deep and memorizing - lying somewhere between Ian Curtis of Joy Division and Bowie. But then take a look at Max Monday (Keyboard, Synth), who at this point was also drinking a glass of wine. She launches off rumbling synth notes, making the ground shake, exploring new dimensions. When linked with Curtis, the melody sections in song like Love like Lobotomy are unruly. Now take a look at Cam Harper, a renowned drummer within Victoria’s music scene, and Hamzah Mansour, who is just simply a god damn bass wizard. They make up the rhythm section and, my word, it’s amazing. Hamzah and Cam are the serious back bone to the group, providing exciting and groovy licks to dance along to. Listen to the chorus in their song Time Runs. Linked with Curtis’ punchy vocal delivery, its a section that is impossible not to dig.
With Death Kart, it pays not to be safe. Curtis’ wacky guitar tones and his painted lyrical expressions create a tapestry that blankets the drooling kids in relate-able, driving expression. He is not afraid to sing about the crutches taking control of the world. Their latest LP, Structure - released in the fall of 2017, is exactly what you think it is about; conforming. Technology, jobs, sex, drugs, alcohol, all the things that keep us in the grips of society. Surrounding this theme, each song intertwines with each other, but at the same time, each song is totally different. They seem to pull out separate tones and effects for each song, and allow for space between each musician and their respective roles. Living, Set Fire is this formula on steroids. A carefully orchestrated song that displays character through the space provided between each member, allowing it all to build up and then come crashing down as it crescendos, well done.
Be sure to catch Death Kart at Stylus Records in Vancouver on March 17th, 2018.