Kill It Kid – You Owe Nothing
Three albums in, the Brit blues outfit come good. If previously they leaned excessively on their influences, You Owe Nothing sees them get smart with those heritage materials. This time around, it's the songs that hustle for attention rather than the authenticity of their chops. Kill It Kid leader Chris Turpin, most notably on the scuzzed-up balladry of Caroline, sings with a mouth full of razors and a bellyful of Jack.
Clearly, these things take time: the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Band of Skulls both needed a couple of albums to shed those backwoods influences and develop a fuller identity. For a band whose early work saw them flirt with folk and Americana elements, the transition to full-on, low-slung riffery is as startling as it is becoming. Half a century since scrawny white boys began making off with black music's heritage, Kill It Kid purloin with style and taste. [Gary Kaill]