According to their official bio, Ontario’s all-girl metal-mongers Kittie are “setting new standards by hammering out honest metal music” — a revolutionary notion since metal has never been grounded in truthfulness. How honest were Ronnie James Dio’s Dungeons and Dragons librettos when the only castles he’d ever visited sold him square hamburgers? How honest was Kevin DuBrow’s collective wigworks? Nah, metal’s always been a shuck by design, and Kittie’s got a shell game that’s as dastardly as anything the old boy network ever perpetrated. Listen to the new, mostly live EP Safe and notice how lead ralpher Morgan Lander employs the poise and elocution of a Miss America candidate promising world peace when plugging the band’s newest album, then reverts to emulating Lucifer’s garbage disposal when delivering their honest message, which usually calls for the painful eradication of a former boyfriend. How honest is it having all the cute members of Kittie mysteriously disappear like extras from I Know What You Did Last Summer? And couldn’t somebody inform latest bassist Jennifer Arroyon that she shouldn’t be shaking hands with audience members while Morgan is singing about severing something that rhymes with genius? My guess is that people predisposed to rhyme “riot grrrl” with “why not hurl” will not be suckered in by the title cut, as it’s remixed by Sasha from KMFDM to make Morgan sound like Enya. As for Kittie’s kiddies who think in Sabbath terms, these dark debs are already in their Technical Ecstasy spiral.

E-mail Serene Dominic at [email protected].

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