KTD - 2003 Territory

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ARTIST: KTD
ALBUM: Territory
LABEL: Hydrant Records
YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Steve Sera - vocals, guitars, synthesizers, noises, percussion * Benny Fiorentino - guitars, keys, sitar, electronics and theory * Mike Lamm - drums, vocals * Danny Callan - bass

TRACK LISTING: Room To Breathe * 02 The Bed I Made * 03 Fly * 04 Here And Now * 05 Shake The Cage * 06 Shine * 07 Bleed * 08 Living In Sin

Background

For those of you who don't know, these guys have been in the business a long time. They came together in the mid 80's as Axminster. They became local legends in Boston, thanks to heavy airplay of their independently pressed single 'Teenage Livin' (produced by New England man Hirsh Gardner).

By the turn of the decade, in addition to having played their own sell out shows, Axminster had played opening slots for Extreme, Metallica, Lita Ford, Twisted Sister, Foghat and the mighty Molly Hatchet.

It's been a while, but now the band are back, playing under their new moniker of KTD, which they say originally stood for Kick The Dog, but in reality can mean whatever they want it to. Whatever the name, it seems they're making decent music.

The Songs

'Room To Breathe' has a melodic intro with a spaced out feel and slightly phased vocals. It's only as the drums and the main riff kick in, it really hits me. I'm reminded very much of Dokken (circa 'Dysfunctional') and, probably due to the spacey element, Jeff Pilson's War And Peace side project. The synths in the closing section have a very old pomp quality, which at first sounds a little unsettling, but works in the overall mix.

'The Bed I Made' is a little smoother around the edges and will probably appeal to those of you looking for the more obviously melodic, but for me lacks the spark of the opening cut, but then, that not to say it's bad. I've certainly heard far worse.

The high point definitely has to be the guitar breaks, Benny Fiorentino has a very fluid style. After an acoustic intro, 'Fly' comes across a little heavier and is one of the stand-out tracks for me. It has all the things I look for when it comes to melodic rock: solid vocals, a great riff with a big groove and a more than worthy guitar solo. As with the first two tracks, this is definitely more in keeping with the 90's styled melodic rock as opposed to the more party-fuelled 80's stuff. There's a slight eastern feel here too, courtesy of Benny's subtle sitar parts.

'Here And Now' hits the listener between the eyes with its faster pace, it's a swaggering piece, which seems very sure of itself, thanks to an anthemic chorus coupled with a very Led Zeppelin-ish riff (which, if you ask me, is always welcome).

I hope I'm not too far off the mark here, but when I first heard 'Shake The Cage', my first reaction was to think of the harder elements of the late 80's Kiss material, the Gene Simmons songs in particular (that's a compliment in my book chaps). Add a hair metal groove (a la XYZ) in there and it makes for a good end result. Another chunky riff, another anthemic chorus, done and dusted, job done, no messin'.

'Shine' somehow falls a little short (bar the guitar solo, which again hits the mark). There's technically nothing wrong with its main riff either, it's just the chorus doesn't quite come up to scratch. It could be a case of bad sequencing 'Shake The Cage' is a tough act to follow, if 'Shine' had been placed elsewhere on the disc, it might have fared better.

Another chunky riff opens up 'Bleed'. Again, I'm reminded of XYZ, with an altogether dirtier sound than their first two records. As with much of this CD, I feel it's the guitar work (the solo in particular) which is the real jewel here.

Finishing off the album, 'Living In Sin' has much smoother edges, in keeping with the band's more Dokken influenced sound. In contrast to the driving guitars of the previous number, the hook here comes with the chorus, which at first doesn't sound like a complete 'grabber'. It's on subsequent listens, when the smaller details - like the backing vocals - help to pull the listener in.

In Summary

In short, this album represents an old school approach which I feel works well for these guys. Regular Glory Daze visitors should find plenty to enjoy here.


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