BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream, Music



Maybe you caught local gruesome twosome KTB opening for the likes of ICEAGE or PRIZEHOG. Maybe you caught them churning out one of the highlight sets of this year’s Boston Hassle Fest. Maybe they’ve just crept into your dreams Freddy Krueger–style to freak you out with their dank, sludgy post-industrial noise-rock horror show. Maybe so far you’re only aware of Shawnie Brando from BUGS AND RATS and Arian Shaffiee from GUERILLA TOSS. Maybe, just maybe, you are in no way familiar with these two madmen or any of their work. If so, allow me to elaborate . . .

KTB are unlike anything else in town. Spiky guitar, buzzy electronics, and minimal, repetitive drumming are the background for Brando’s instantly recognizable vocal style, which is high-pitched, nasal and all kinds of fucked-up; at turns both menacing and oddly taunting. I wouldn’t necessarily say he sounds like Eric Paul of ARAB ON RADAR, DOOMSDAY STUDENT etc. . . . He doesn’t really sound like anybody. But the effect the two men’s voices have can be oddly similar. It’s unnerving and confrontational, and the music, stripped to its raw essence, compliments that attitude perfectly. In fact, if I didn’t know better I would assume KTB were Providence-based.

The lyrics trawl through the damaged and buried parts of the human psyche, and KTB seem just as comfortable there as groups like THROBBING GRISTLE or COIL did in their heyday. That means, of course, that their music isn’t for everyone. Some people would prefer not to dwell in such an uncomfortable place. But for those of us who do, KTB are a black beacon of weirdness and their new self-titled cassette a powerhouse tour de force of squirm and shudder.

KTB is available now from Feeding Tube Records

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