The Sweet Kill Concludes Their Harvard & Stone Shadow Zone Residency
LOS ANGELES, CA- I met Pete Mills back in 2019 when his band scheduled was to perform at Blurred Culture’s Hollywood showcase at Madame Siam. I was drawn to the theatrically goth nature of his band’s performance and the darkwave/post-punk leanings of his music. During the month of July, Pete and his band graced the stage at Harvard & Stone for a weekly residency produced by Shadow Zone. I was able to make it out to their last residency performance on July 19th.
There’s a lot of pain and angst in The Sweet Kill’s music, and I was ready to get “moody” with Pete and company. I recognized a handful of the songs in their 10 song set, which I noticed flanked the beginning and end of their set. Their set started with a pair of songs for their 2019 album “Neon Black”, then played the longing song “Forbidden” off their 2020 3-song EP “Letter to A Vampire”. I was surprised that they didn’t play all three songs, sequentially, from the EP. It’s a solid trilogy of songs that really crescendos with emotions, and “Queen of the Damned” (the third track for the EP), really hits hard when the bridge goes into overdrive with its driving rhythms and frenetic guitars.
They closed their set with their singles “Die In Your Eyes” and “Soul Satellite”, both released in 2018, and closed their set with an emotive cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt”. The rest of the songs they performed are, I’m assuming, new music that Pete has written throughout the pandemic. Catching wind of these new cuts brought a sense of excitement to my otherwise mundane Monday night. Pete’s creativity is continuously in motion, and I’m excited to see (and hear) how these songs evolve from their current state, and how they’ll manifest when they are recorded in a studio.
The band who joined The Sweet Kill on their residency bill was a band that was new to me: Sister Screamer. Sister Screamer Is a music project started by Sydney Jane. As their Bandcamp page explains, “the name is derived from the sisters of mercy and Primal Scream”.
They further describe their music as songs that “express an unrequited rage sung with an angelic timbre”, and Syndey has definitely got that angelic timbre down pat. Sydney’s voice, backed by pulsing rhythms and frenetic synth elements, kind of floats above the instrumental attacks. Even when her vocal melody gets more punchy, it never overpowers and just melts into the overall sonic melange, giving the songs a bit of an ominous tone.
I wasn’t planning on sticking around to catch their performance, but I’m glad I did. They haven’t really released much from what I can tell, but in listening to what they currently have available on Spotify, I feel like can hear how they’re evolving, especially in the vocal production and songwriting lane. I’m excited to this act develop.