The Inflation Kills – ‘Grounds For Termination’

a1907457007_16Review by Steve Marck

Idolization is an ungainly process from its beginning, though as a kid it doesn’t seem that way. When you’re young, your identity gets formed by a lengthy process in part by those you admire and attempt to emulate. Everyone finds people to discover the world through, and those responsible for your creation are by nature the best candidates for the position. As time peels that earnest veneer, human nature bleeds through, and the world is ever-muddied onward. The best you can do is try to be at least better than those that taught you the hardest lessons. Shit. How do I steer this bleak thing back to being an album review?

…Okay. I first saw this band twelve years ago in Hamilton on the instruction of my boss that it was ‘mandatory’ I attend. I wasn’t yet old enough to drink, and I’m thankful for that in retrospect. What happened on that stage was an unadulterated torrent of harmonic adrenaline that I had no sound to compare. I would never get to feel that way again. There is a last time for everything, and that was a night I will never regret.

My childhood had ended in simple times with slight distortion. Grunge had died and the internet was yet to give breadth to bands around the world. Music was still a word-of-mouth algorithm, so days that followed that show, I scoured every conversation for similar sounds, but found they didn’t do that night even a pale comparison. It was translucent, at best. I had found my idols, and over the years they’d inadvertently introduced me to more cathartic pain and suffering through song than I can convey in this space.

I am now older than they were then, and yet this band still surprises me and makes me feel like I’m reliving the best record of that first impression. Grounds For Termination holds the same tension taught in the swift succession of seven songs. A decade since their last release, and with everything else I’ve written, the only thing I can say about The Inflation Kills is that I hope they stay together (for the kids).