Keeper: Out Of It
“We all sleep eat and breathe music, but we do other stuff in our spare time. For example Jake rides a bike.” – Keeper’s online bio. Ian Critchley is impressed.
It’s a rare thing these days, especially from the perspective of myself as a musician/writer/gig promoter, to find a band or artist that has an incredibly intense sense of drive. Many times I find myself dealing with part time musicians who have no real interest or urge in pushing themselves as a commodity unless there’s some kind of financial gain involved. Music for the sake of music seems to have become a long forgotten concept that has been slowly pissed down the drain.
Or at least it was until I came across Keeper. They are one of the few bands who preach their complete and utter devotion to music and truly mean it. They have given their minds, bodies, and souls in their entirety to the Church of Sound. I noticed this whilst watching the band play in Manchester just the other day. A fourgy of youthful faces took to the stage and I’m sure many expected a similar sound to be produced. Not a bad sound, just one that has a long way to develop. This was not the case.
If I’d have taken the time to truly get to grips with the band on record beforehand, however, I wouldn’t have been such a stupid dick. Their second single Out Of It has all the hallmarks of not only a band with promise, but a band that could shock and awe their far more established contemporaries.
Utilising high tempo aggression, tied with an almost shoe gaze style guitar technique that echoes that of post-hardcore favourites La Dispute, Out Of It is one of those tracks that instantly grabs ya by the giblets and doesn’t let go until the very end. The vocal technique of the singer, Courtney Levitt, ties perfectly with the brutality of the instrumentation. Anyone who ever thinks that “screamo vocals” is exclusively a boys club, should take note of the raw honesty that protrudes from this ladies mouth as she tears apart her vocals chords until cascading into a serene sincerity that is filled with more pure emotion than any of the emo pretenders out their could ever hope to create.
The B-side is Knots, which switches some of the anger of the single in exchange for a far more grimier sound. It has the feel of the heavier elements found within the band Finch during their What It Is To Burn days but with an added grunge tinge that can be heard especially during the middle eight. Though a slightly different feel than that of Out Of It the second slice still does wonders in illustrating Keeper as being not just the band to watch in 2014 but the band you should donate your time, money, and probably first born son to.
And not because they demand it, but because they deserve it.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.