Killed by The Architects Breathes Life Into Self-Titled LP

By Deuce

There’s not too many acts these days—bands, soloists, duos, etc.—cranking out 14 tracks on an album. We’re in the digital age now where songs are disposable, albums rarely reach eight cuts and almost never supersede 10 with the emphasis on the next single of the minute.

Evidently, somebody forgot to mention that fact to Killed by The Architects when he (yes, you read right, that’s he) dropped his latest Long Player, Self-Titled. Duke busted out all 14 solo. As in, he is the band, the group is his solo project, and he’s singly responsible for the drum programming, the bass (most of which sounds like it was played live on a stringed instrument, albeit it doesn’t have to be), the guitars, the synths, and the vocals.

But more on his musicianship—and vocals—in a minute. Again, we’re talking a strong 14 tracks to the face, approximately an hour’s worth of music, and nearly a handful of tunes approximating five minutes in length. Killed by The Architects, AKA Jamie Berkes, wasn’t playing when he put together this one and rounds out the material with thought provoking lyrics (and song titles), well-planned arrangements, and more than one remarkable performance on the host of aforesaid instruments.

It’s a toss-up as to which is the more cogent, his guitar playing or the way he sings. Both have an airy quality which is likely reflected more in the vocals and is only partly attributed to the effects that prolong his high notes. However, they swirl together to invoke definite demonstrations of passion on the opener “I’m A Ghost” which, despite its title, is one of the breeziest summertime ditties I’ve heard thus far.

Buttressed by a pleasing melody and a noteworthy innovation adorning more than one of the cuts in which the kicks and the snare work in conjunction at an eighth note pace similar to, and as pronounced as, the high hats, it courses through and around you as if, ahem, there were some ghostly spirits at work or play.

Nonetheless, his guitar playing is a sheer delight. It’s effected, certainly electric, yet far from overbearing or grungy and perfectly accentuates the vocals on the verses while counterpointing them on the solos. Yup, Killed By The Architects certainly knows what he’s doing, as you will as well while riding to this for the duration of the summer… and beyond.

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