Rival Shadows – Killing Floor – Single Review

Rival Shadows are back at the dark-rock alternative altar with, the suitably sinister, new single ‘Killing Floor’. And it’s one hell tune for a second release.

Rival Shadows are back with their second single ‘Killing Floor’

Liam Kohler is the man behind Rival Shadows, setting up shop and recording under the alias following a split from a previous band. Kohler is now aiming to emulate heroes like Bombay Bicycle Club, Radiohead, and The National with this solo project.

We can see from the evidence of ‘Killing Floor’ he’s worked hard to cultivate a sound which pulls on all the best elements of those artists.

The new track merges all the attitude of the latter of that trio especially. With its sombre, yet anthemic, rock-filled soundscape.

It kicks in with rhythmic percussion belying a playful tone which is laced with essences of Bombay Bicycle Club. Then playtime ends as the soaring guitars come through and show you the bigger picture.

Through the perfectly timed rises and deft verses you’re building a picture of what Rival Shadows are capable of. Then, when think you’ve got it all figured out, the track comes through with a face-melter of a middle eight which Mat Berninger himself would be proud to behold.

However, away from the playful tones juxtaposing against a brooding soundscape and that shimmering middle section, the most impressive element to this track is Kohler’s mastery of his own powers.

Although it’s only this band’s second single, the Morecambe-based singer-songwriter seems to have a laser-guided focus on the sound he wants to create and how that marries with the rocky-tones we see here.

Speaking about ‘Killing Floor’ Kohler said:

The song follows a theme prevalent in a lot of my song writing – wrestling back control in the face of anxiety, and often my own madness. It also tells of the effects that battle has on somebody close to you too

We feel like we have to keep pointing out that ‘Killing Floor’ is only the second single from Rival Shadows. Because it’s super-rare that a band a putting out this sort of quality so early on in their journey.

Heaven only knows what the future holds for this mob.  

Killing Floor‘ is available to download now. 

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