Kick Me Out – “No Puppets” – Sheer gut-busting and ear-bending beauty!

Netherlands based band, Kick Me Out assumes their own identity brewed of metal, rock, pop and punk, and are well on their way to becoming a force in the underground scene. The 5-piece unit radiate raw authenticity and artistry. Kick Me Out hold nothing back on their EP release, “No Puppets”. In the years since members Leander van Bijnen, Fons van Wegen and Boudewijn Jansen morphed from Deadman’s Switch, to the addition of musicians Nienke Schimmel and Rowan Maris, the collective have gone from an aspiring indie band to a true, female-led punk-rock band with raw vocals and a powerful sound. Not only has Schimmel discovered a resonant, soaring voice that few others achieve; the band has found a way to make a strong statement with their music.

Despite the thundering bombast of their sound, Kick Me Out also manage to connect emotionally with the listener on some of the more heartfelt tracks. “No Puppets” is a solid album of butt-kicking, crunching rock-inflected tunes.

Guitars are heavy and distorted and share center stage with Schimmel’s mewling and hollering, and the driving rhythm section keeps everything tight and propelled steadily forward.

The opening bars of lead track “Say Something” serves as a statement of purpose: a snaky, sinewy dose of bone-crushing punk rock, with an ear-wormy shout-along chorus and plenty of tasty guitar licks.

As opening tracks go, it’s a damn good one. “Can I have a minutes of your time,” sings Nienke. “May I please explain myself.” From there onward all hell breaks loose. Once the song is halfway through, you realize The Kick Me Out mean business.

And they quickly confirm that sensation with the explosive “Falling From The Sky”. Continuing with the massive chugging riffs, the track maintains the band’s aggression, while the vocal hooks sink deep into your mind.

As the twisted tale unfolds, I’ve got to admit, I’m impressed with this song. The production is ‘loose and live’ giving the sound an intensely fierce and gritty quality. The song, possibly because of the raw production, sounds fresh and relevant.

The album’s apex, for me, arrives with the motherlode of Bijnen and Wegen’s screaming guitars, Maris’ rumbling basslines, and Jansen’s hard banging drums on “Holding On”. This song is the centerpiece of the EP – a balls out rocker that will have you banging your head to the rhythm.

Add in Nienke’s commanding vocals and this gut-busting anthem is sheer ear-bending beauty. And I’m willing to bet that this will be a tremendously fun song live. If you’re looking for a mosh-pit song structure, this is it!

Surprisingly the best is yet to come. With “What About Us”, you get a straight up crushing wall of sound that features Nienke Schimmel at her absolute best. Her range is on full display, creating a vocal atmosphere that conjures up audible heartfelt images.

It’s a song with guts and attitude. On the whole the band’s sound is driven by relentless percussion which powers through every song, and the heavy guitars riffs which push the tunes further. Add to that the standout vocals and you’ve got a winner every time.

With too many punk, rock and metal bands sounding sterile and calculated nowadays, it makes the rawness, emotion and originality of Kick Me Out stand out even more.

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