With a name like Kittie one might expect a mellow girls group or pop rock, in 1999 Kittie unleashed a maelstrom of noise that went by the name Spit. Formed in 1996 in London, Ontario, at the core of Kittie are a pair of sisters. Morgan Lander on rhythm guitar and lead vocals alternates between clear classic rock vocals and a sinister growl. Mercedes Lander's drumming is pure undiluted thrash metal. Kittie's lead guitar and bassist positions are in constant rotation. Though Kittie's lyrics are par for the course for a metal band, they are nothing special. Focusing on dark content akin to a slasher movie, their lyrics fail to evoke real terror. They are still one of the heaviest bands playing today, and what they are missing in lyrical content they more than make up for with their hellish wave of sound.
Kittie's debut album Spit featured nu metal thrashing on Charlotte and Brackish. Do You Think I'm a Whore? has the grooving drive of an old Deftones song. The album's self titled track is pure heavy metal fire.
Kittie followed up the success of Spit in 2001 with Oracle. Featuring a much heavier cover of Pink Floyd's Run Like Hell and the sludgy single What I Always Wanted Kittie continued their full force assault on any critic that relegated them to the realm of girl group. The album's title track is a driving anthem which initiates the listener and prepares them for the heaviness to come.
Kittie followed Oracle with their 2004 release Until the End, a more melodic album than their previous two. It is also a tad slower than the previous two, and seems to lack some passion of their other albums. The single Into the Darkness is the most mainstream of any Kittie single. Into the Darkness could have benefited from some guitar tremolo. I have visions of a version of this song that is extremely sick with some Dimebag Darrell I'm Broken style guitar. It would make it a truly heavy masterpiece.
Kittie's came back with Funeral for Yesterday, which has much in common with early Judas Priest. The rhythms of the title track and Breathe and Summer Dies are extremely pulsing. While Morgan does not summon ghosts of Rob Halford's past, the instrumentation on the album could easily be confused for rocking Priest. The pumping, heavy, rocking Funeral for Yesterday makes up for any mediocrity that was laid down with Until the End.
Kittie's most recent album In the Black has a refreshingly evil sound. Tracks like My Plague, Die My Darling, and Ready Aim Riot have a truly sick sound with speed, thrash and tremolo in the right proportions. This album is easily one of the heaviest of the new millennium, and it gives me hope for what Kittie has yet to come.
32 minutes ago