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Jackson, Mississippi, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | INDIE

Jackson, Mississippi, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Alternative Shoegaze




"Kicking – Us Against (EP)"

Kicking – Us Against

A swell of feedback opens Kicking’s Us Against and the first song, “Shallow”, soon segues into primal riffing that only relents with the introduction of lead singer Bobbie’s first line. The straight-forward riffing dominating the early portion of the track and the two guitar attack of band members David and SG carry the sort of impressive musical weight that invokes the doom influences in the band’s music quite well. Bobbie’s singing creates a striking juxtaposition with the guitar work thanks to clear, melodic manner she delivers the lyrical content and brings an emotive edge to the song lacking in similar efforts from lesser outfits. Kicking moves the song into some particularly creative atmospherics during the song’s second half and it makes for a potent mix opening Us Against. It’s the EP’s longest song, as well, and has obvious merits as the EP opener.

Atmospherics are particularly key to the EP’s second song, “The Haunt”, and the production accentuates the subtle, nuanced touches the guitars bring to the song. Drummer Henry gives the track a strong, propulsive heartbeat with some solid bass playing from Lacy rounding out the rhythm section’s charge. There’s such a strong command of dynamics with this song and you can hear its palpably inspiring effects on the vocals – Bobbie really excels here with a powerfully emotional performance that hits all the right peaks and never slides into self indulgent vocal theatrics. As we should expect from this style, there are no solo spots or spotlit virtuoso moments. Instead, Kicking abides by the most fundamental of songcraft approaches – they serve the song far more than they do their egos. The aforementioned atmospherics never come off as straining for effect and, instead, create a near theatrical mood that remains focused throughout and never risks going overboard.

The thunderous drumming opening the EP finale “Unkind” comes complete with dirty, dissonant guitars layered with echo and distortion. The fretwork weaves around the backbeat with a mix of power and finesse and Lacy’s bass playing gives the song a steady pulse at its center that moves in lockstep with the drums. The extended instrumental introduction gives way to Bobbie’s vocals after the 90 second mark and she has an intense, urgent edge to her voice quite unlike anything we heard with the preceding tunes. Some key backing vocals come in along the way, but Bobbie carries the majority of the song without any apparent effort and tailors her voice well to match the instrumental high points along the way. There’s a near tribal quality to the drumming and that element of the sound is only further accentuated as the track progresses. It’s a strong closer for this EP.

Call it doomgaze, call it what you like, but Kicking write, perform, and record accessible and rough-hewn music brimming over with intelligence and emotion alike. Their newest EP release Us Against only features three songs, but the five piece manages to pack more into those three songs than some bands, regardless of style, manage in a full length effort. This is a highly recommended outing.

Mindy McCall - No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music

"Keep on Kicking in Jackson"

Two years ago, J.D. Burns and Bobbie Flanders were struggling to find a lineup for a band that would work. The original Kicking began with four members, but two of them left the band early on.

At the same time, musicians Sarah Shephard, Lacey Ellinwood and Henry Atherton were working on their own project, Atherton says, but kept trying to find the right people to turn their efforts into an organized, productive band. The two groups connected, and soon afterward Shephard, Ellinwood and Atherton joined Kicking. Since then, the band has kicked off its career with a full-length album recorded at Crown Studios and that is set to release in October. The now five-member band is comprised of Burns and Shephard as guitarists, Ellinwood as bassist, Atherton as drummer and Flanders as vocalist.
The members of Kicking are excited that this configuration of musicians is able to just play together, each "coming up with our own stuff," Flanders says, "until it eventually builds up part by part into a song."

The grunge band finds its influences from bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine, but it also contains elements of shoegaze and pop. By tuning down their guitars and adding other effects, though, the group shies away from traditional pop.

"We've been living in these genres because if our music was in a major key it would be pop music," Burns says. "Our writing style is like pop music, but we like to change up the key to give it that edge."

Over the band's years of playing together, they have found a spot in the city's music community.

"The devotion of the rock community in Jackson is incredible," Atherton says. "A lot of these college bars are politics by day, rock 'n' roll by night."

Although the band started its career performing locally, it has set its sights on the rest of Mississippi, touring the state constantly and continuing to create and release music.

In the run-up to the release of the album, "Modern Witch," the band will be performing Sept. 20 in Hattiesburg with local band Pleather. The work doesn't stop with performances, though.

"Part of the band from the get-go was continuously writing new music," Burns says. "Sharks keep swimming when they sleep, or else they die, and we like to think of ourselves like that."

In keeping with that idea, the band has recorded one demo, three EPs and a full-length album in about two years. The demo was recorded by Gary Lick at the Village Ruse, a recording studio in Vicksburg, Miss. The first EP, a live studio album, was recorded in Greenville, Miss., at Carbon Studios and released in October 2017. "Us Against," which came out on Nov. 8, 2017, was recorded by Kent Bruce at Malaco Records. About a month later, Kicking released a self-titled album recorded by the band's very own drummer Henry Atherton.

The band will release "Modern Witch" album in early October. For more information on Kicking, find the band on Facebook. - Jackson Free Press



Kicking is an alternative/grunge band based in Jackson Mississippi that has been classified as shoegaze, doom pop, doom gaze, Nu Gaze, and other assorted obscure genre hashtags. Whatever you call it, it’s guitar and effects driven music juxtaposed against lyrical and vocal stylings that fills a niche in the above-mentioned genres.

The core of Kicking has been Bobbie Flanders on vocals, guitars from JD Burns and SG Shepherd, with Lacy Ellinwood on bass. Lexi Gay is the most recent member to join Kicking in 2020 after the departure of Henry Atherton back to his home in the PNW.

Band Members