Seattle quintet Kill Sybil — initially just Sybil, the name under which the group issued a 1991 single — once had future Hole batterer Patty Schemel sitting on its drum throne. (Her brother Larry Schemel was one of the band’s two guitarists.) Her drumming on two tracks, however, is not the best feature of the band’s lone album. Kill Sybil boasts impressive three-dimensional sound and tempers the rage of punk hormones with bright pop tunes that could have been snatched from tweepoppers like Tiger Trap. Frequently resembling Hole’s Live Through This (which it predates) in presence if not temper, Kill Sybil is better than good in every department other than Tammy Watson’s unsteady lead vocals. And even that problem is successfully addressed with overdubbing. Additionally, Stevescott Schmaljohn of Treepeople joins his moonlighting bandmate, drummer Eric Akre, to sing “Broken Back,” and guitarist Dale Balenseifen takes the mic for “Something to Tell.” Except for a brief blurt of in-concert incoherence, the songs have shape, substance and dynamic variety (“Best” even waxes gently atmospheric before unleashing its power); the guitarists’ furious strumming layers unconventional chords into intriguing textures and then punctures them with noisy solos. Best of all, there’s more diverse melodicism than should be expected from such an energetically clamorous band. Even when the music is jumping around wildly, Kill Sybil keeps its feet on solid ground.

They have had a few line-up changes, but were mostly: Tammy - Vocals; J. Phillips - Drums; Leslie - Bass; Robin & Dale - Guitars. Tammy later went on to form The Executioners.

Edited by bluedatura on 4 Oct 2008, 12:53

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