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“Kiss It” From READY, STEADY, DIE!

Great music begins with a mood, and in the rock-flavored electronic piece “Kiss It” from READY, STEADY, DIE!, moodiness is more than a catalyst for engagement – it’s reason enough to hear the song in the first place. Rather than teasing us with frills, READY, STEADY, DIE! get into the guts of a visceral rhythm right off the bat in this piece, evolving with a grungy hook that inevitably becomes stronger than anything that comes in its path. “Kiss It” is a perfect hybrid of punky restlessness and electropop surrealism, both of which are getting a lot of additional love from critics as the spring comes into focus. 

This vocal contrasts with the slithering tone of the music rather brilliantly, but not enough to induce unneeded discord on the backend of the mix. On the contrary, the chaos that’s unleashed in the friction between singer and riffage is something I would deem essential to enjoying the versatility of this arrangement, especially as the beat fosters the perfect environment for these melodies to crash into each other. READY, STEADY, DIE! appreciate the mechanics of a disaster, and they’re putting them to work so boldly in “Kiss It” that it’s hard to deny their ability as an act. 

The quality tension that starts with the bassline and the drums extends itself to the verses in a couple of different moments, but the most critical of these comes just ahead of the fever pitch of the song. Instead of putting everything on the release in the chorus, READY, STEADY, DIE! want to bleed out the angst-ridden backdrop for everything it’s worth first, allowing for the hook to sound almost anti-cathartic when it’s finally allowed the lion’s share of the stage. Devious? Indeed, but I can’t personally recall another band or solo artist that has been this adventurous in the studio for a while now. 

I will say that although I found the music video for “Kiss It” to be disturbing and a bit indulgent, it suits the tone of its source material flawlessly. Gone are the implied urbanisms that buffer the bottom end of the mix and the verses from the imagery in this video, and in their place, we find a distorted childishness that seems to hint at something so much more fragile in these lyrics than I would have initially been able to pick up on by myself. There’s more to READY, STEADY, DIE!, and if you didn’t think so before, just take a look at this piece to see what I’m talking about. 

Blunt-force melodies and cryptic storytelling of the most irreverent kind have never sounded so seamlessly joined as they do in READY, STEADY, DIE!’s “Kiss It,” but if I know this act well enough, I can tell you right not that this isn’t representative of a creative peak for their artistic skillset in the least. READY, STEADY, DIE! still have ground to cover, and this is, in fact, just their latest trip away from the mainstream towards a style of carnal pop/rock that is made specifically for the more discriminating of critics among us. 

Mindy McCall



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