Kill Creek – St. Valentines Garage (1994) , Proving Winter Cruel (1996)

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

When the city of Lawrence, Kansas is mentioned in the music world, often the first association that comes to many a mind is The Get Up Kids. Over the past 15 years TGUK have toured endlessly, put out a handful of albums , and developed a huge fanbase. While hard work is the prime reason behind that popularity, they also benefited from their ascent’s near perfect synchronization with  the “emo” explosion of the late 90’s/early 00’s.

But roughly a decade before that era, the pride of the vibrant Lawrence music scene was a group of new and talented bands  injecting the contemporary grunge sound with a distinct sense of melody. Along with Paw and Stick , Kill Creek put Lawrence on the musical map and of course on the radars of the major label A & R guys. It didn’t take much time for all three bands to be signed to major label deals; Paw to A+M, Stick to Arista, and Kill Creek to Atlantic distributed Mammoth.  Although not afraid to use the distortion pedal, Kill Creek was much heavier on the melody than the other two bands. Whereas Paw’s 1993 major label debut , Dragline , was pushed by the suits to be the next Nervermind, Creek’s first effort, St. Valentine’s Garage, incorporated Fugazi style post punk angst and hooky power pop a la Doughboys into the raw and aggressive sound.  The album consisted of songs written over the 4 year period prior to the 1994 recording and release.

Mammoth released Kill Creek’s follow up LP, Proving Winter Cruel , in 1996. It is almost immediately obvious upon first listen that the band had evolved substantially throughout the first half of the decade. All but abandoning the grunge leanings and the introduction of more predominant acoustic elements into their sound, the band seemed bound for the mainstream recognition they deserved. Unfortunately, the grunge/alternative post  signing frenzy threw a major wrench into those plans. Not long after Proving Winter Cruel was released and supported by heavy touring, Mammoth was bought by Disney. Due to budget cutting and the general lack of label support that was characteristic of the label sell-off practices of the late 90’s, the songs written for what was to be a third album lingered for nearly 5 years before indie label Second Nature invited the band to join their roster.  The result was a 2002 LP, Colors Of Home,  which consisted partially of those songs which had been scrapped a few years earlier. The album picks up perfectly where Proving Winter Cruel had left off over 5 years prior, but still manages to sound fresh and genuine.

Second Nature put out a 2 disc retrospective of the band called The Will To Strike in 2004. The double album contains generally everything the band ever recorded. If you like what you hear and are looking for something tangible to own by the band, The Will To Strike is definitely the place to start. Buy it here.

Kill Creek was/is (?) Scott Born (vocals, guitar), Ron Hayes (guitar), Patrick Grassy (bass), and Patrick Gilhoussen (drums).

St. Valentine’s Garage (1994)

1.cosmetic surgery


3. stretch

4. mother’s friends

5. gett on

6. kelly’s dead

7. seven-eleven

8. killing

9. fruit pie



11. wuss cliff

12.die young


Proving Winter Cruel (1996)

1. Unsteady

2. All Ears

3. Binky

4. With You Around

5. Dirty Hands

6. The Role Model

7. Biggest Rift

8. Six By Two

9. Lullaby

10. Chromosome

11. Lullabye

12. Punishment 

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