Killer Bob is not an accessible band. In fact, in front of a small but animated crowd of experimental music enthusiasts at Music House on Friday, it oftentimes felt like they specifically went out of their way not to be accessible. Their lead vocalist and guitarist, aptly named (you guessed it!) Bob, doesn’t sing so much as urgently repeat barely audible words into the microphone. Their music, which can fairly accurately be described as modern day Swans on meth, ranges from trance inducing to downright cacophonous, and sometimes makes the transition between the two in a matter of seconds. The strange, dissonant notes coming from their guitarist were almost occasionally painful to listen to, but enjoyably so. The performance bordered theatricality as their drummer rushed the crowd with a melodica and their bassist decided to play on the floor. For the last song of their set, they made everyone lay down to “better experience” a song that must’ve easily gone on for twenty minutes. I was initially cynical about the whole experience; seeing everyone lay down on a fucking living room floor smiling with their eyes closed was nothing short of eerie, but after five minutes my brain just sort of gave up, and I closed my eyes and listened. The song ultimately felt like a mellow acid trip. I wouldn’t call it any sort of “profound” experience, but it was certainly a memorable one.
Killer Bob made jokes on stage about how they weren’t supposed to be too “genuine” with the audience and how good bands aren’t “serious,” but their music suggests quite the opposite. In eschewing anything that resembles popular, or even, really, alternative music, their songs come off as extremely genuine. The band instantly gives the impression that it doesn’t give a shit about having a huge fan base or getting a multimillion dollar record deal. There’s no selfish or greedy motive that corrupts their music; the songs are pure creativity. Killer Bob is a band that’s solely interested in making absorbing, provocative, and occasionally confusing music, and that it does very well.