Second Stage: Little-Known Bands You Should Hear

Second Stage: Killed By 9V Batteries, 'Worst Of Total Anarchy'

Killed by 9V Batteries never planned to record an album. All the band intended to do was score a short film frontman Wolfgang Möstl was making. But before the Austrian quartet could finish, its members decided they'd rather be rock stars.

Killed By 9V Batteries i i
Lia Radler
Killed By 9V Batteries
Lia Radler

Killed by 9V Batteries hearkens back to the early days of the Sub Pop label, when grunge wasn't yet synonymous with flannel and distorted guitars were king. But that doesn't mean the band is stuck in the past. Instead, Killed by 9V Batteries mixes fuzzy guitars with a little pop, falling in line with other bands such as Japandroids or Male Bonding (itself a recent Sub Pop recruit).

In "Worst of Total Anarchy," the first single from the band's upcoming third album, The Crux, the guitar screeches like a rusty front-porch swing. Though it's hard to ignore, it never gets grating thanks to the group's knack for layering. Each instrument seems to have its rightful place, never overstaying its welcome or getting lost in the fray.

While each instrument works hard to do its part, Möstl sounds like he's singing lines as they come to him. He sounds almost blasé about the whole thing, but thanks to a few well-placed snarls, he brings out the song's subtle naughtiness.

Wolfgang Möstl never finished his movie, but has made many of the band's videos, including "Impulse Control."

The Crux will be available digitally in the U.S. on Sept. 30.

Check out Killed by 9V Batteries' Bandcamp page to hear more.

Submit your music for possible inclusion on Second Stage or All Songs Considered.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.