“Back to Basics” by The Killbillies is an album that inspires listeners through its themes of self-acceptance, overcoming addiction, and dealing with the challenges of living abroad. It focuses on personal growth and self-belief and the band’s openness about their struggles, which serves as an inspiration to listeners.
The members of the West Palm Beach-based alt-country and folk rock group Killbillies are Ben Childs on guitar, vocals, snare, and saxophone; Hector Diaz plays stand-up bass; and James Galiano plays banjo, vocals, and kick. The group was founded in Florida in 2010, but this iteration was created during the pandemic when a change in personnel and musical direction resulted in the Killbillies returning to their stripped-down, rootsy sound. They came together in South Florida’s community of musicians. Florida has a far larger and more active music culture than most people are aware of.
American bluegrass and alt-country, as well as English and Irish folk and punk, are the main influences on the Killbillies. They have performed at numerous Florida festivals, including Moonfest in West Palm Beach, 561 Music Fest in Lake Worth, Riverhawk in Brooksville, and Bark Back in Lake Worth. The band recently finished a tour of the southern states and has a busy playing schedule. The Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis served as one of the venues on that tour. With his former band Sonic Boom Six, Ben Childs from England, the lead singer of the band, has performed at festivals such as Reading and Leeds in the UK and Glastonbury.
Killbillies is a unique band due to its unusual instrumentation, which includes two of the three members playing foot drums and accompanying banjo, guitar, and stand-up bass. Additionally, they all sing in unison. Every weekend in Florida, the band does performances, which keeps them very busy. The band members are committed and focused on getting the job done because it is a serious endeavor. Their music is excitingly unique due to their heady fusion of Celtic music, rock, punk, bluegrass, and country. The band has a wide range of influences while also having its own distinct sound. The focus right now is on promoting their brand-new album “Back to Basics” and its standout hits “Mountain Sophistication” and “Law Abiding Man“
The Killbillies are a hard-working band with unique instrumentation that wants to grow its fan base and connect with more people. The group has finished recording a new full-length album called “Back to Basics,” which was released on November 19,2022. It features 8 soulful songs that are both energizing and thought-provoking. The album presents a picture of the band’s trials and victories during its existence. This album by Killbillies was created in Memphis’ illustrious Sun Studios, where it was mixed by Emmy-winning engineer Stev Fallone. They put a lot of work into this record, which they are quite proud of, so it would only be fair if it reached more people.
“Back to Basics” Tracklist
1. Wetting the Beak
2. Law Abiding Man
3. Promised Dream
4. Mountain Sophistication
5. Fall on Your Sword
6. Red Haired Boy / Raise a Ruckus / Cradle to the Grave
7. Josh Song
8. Folk Like Us
James Galiano introduced the band to the instrumental track “Wetting the Beak” on Track 1. Setting the tone for an album that blends the known with the unknown, it is an uplifting banjo lead song that employs strange scales. The intensity is increased with the second track, “Law Abiding Man.” The melodies move like rolling hills. It is a completely upbeat track with enthralling voices that wander over folk vistas. The tune has the chirpy early vigor of a clear, sunny day. Additionally, the singers march along with the beats to create a lighthearted cadence that makes us skip a beat. “Law Abiding Man” is a lighthearted song about sobriety in comparison to past transgressions. Ben Childs and his partner’s relocation to the United States and their experiences are described in Track 3, “Promised Dream.” Additionally, it is an upbeat song that Ben Childs wrote during the pandemic as a remedy for the political craziness that was all around him at the time.
The fourth track, “Mountain Sophistication,” stands out as the band changes its pace. It talks about the yearning for a simpler life and living in the moment. This track is groover and mellower than the others. Also with joyful banjo string patterns, “Mountain Sophistication” has a country music sound as its foundation. The melody is oddly enticing when combined with the warm vocals. The music comes together like a dream, with hints of love, passion, and nostalgia. Even the folky rock riffs in the bridge are enjoyable in their avant-garde presentation.
The fifth song, “Fall On Your Sword,” talks about getting better, being able to change, and not letting the past define who you are now. It begins with an Americana-style anthem before dissolving into lines of banjo melodies like butter cookies. Beyond amazing is how quickly and smoothly it flows. Chasing it is similar to chasing a butterfly. The nicest thing to sink into is the comforting vocals and lyrics. The enthusiastic display of jiving melodies and carnival-like fun may be heard in “Red Haired Boy,” “Raise a Ruckus,” and “Cradle to the Grave,” which come next. Be sure to catch the triple musical vignette before you turn it in for the night, since it disappears into the darkness like a breeze. The three frames of the music are transitioned between the artists in a skilled manner. It is the band’s favorite live medley that opens with a well-known mountain video before transitioning into an exuberant party song from the country. Finally, a song about hiding your true self from others and the risks it poses is heard.
Ben Childs sings a love ballad to his estranged brother Josh on the seventh, “Josh Song.” It has a smoother canvas and a calmer soul. A fortress of passion and love is built using broad vocal arcs and straightforward folk instruments. The lyrics themselves are incredibly wholesome and heartfelt. The last song, “Folk Like Us,” is about the spirit of the pioneer and creating new territory. The song’s eerie saxophone solo captures the fear and excitement of venturing out on your own. The lush country-folk weave of “Folk Like Us” has subdued rock influences woven throughout. Passion and intensity in the vocals grow as they increase. These tracks have a really straightforward, cozy quality. Its homey, easygoing, and innocently joyful sounds evoke memories of childhood.
It was almost supernatural to record at Sun Studios while using equipment from the band of Elvis and Johnny Cash. Some of the magic from the early days of rock and roll may be heard in the recordings since the space itself is alive with ghosts! The slapback delay applied to the vocals and guitar was created using a vintage tape machine in the same manner as back in the ’50s. Ben Childs tore his hair out for two months perfecting the mix with the help of other producers and band members. It was an incredible honor to have Steve Fallone, a multiple Grammy Award winner, master the record. Without the help of a mutual acquaintance in New York, it would not have been possible. Sometimes, for better or worse, it really does come down to who you know.
The album, which tackles topics of addiction, day-to-day life, and self-belief, is greatly influenced by Ben Childs‘s recovery path over the last three years. Ben Childs’s experience as an immigrant to the United States has a recurring motif as well. Although it isn’t a concept album, the songs all have a theme that relates to Ben Childs‘s journey of self-acceptance as well as his acceptance of living abroad and all the hardships and adjustments that come with it.
Therefore, be sure to include “Back to Basics” in your new music playlist this week; you won’t be sorry!
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