From the dark, perpetually rain-slicked streets of Cleveland, Ohio comes a new sound, one inspired as much by film noir, pulp fiction, and the gritty textures of their post-industrial hometown as the myriad musical influences that flow through their songs, the sound of Kiss Me Deadly.
Their debut album, What You Do In The Dark, stands as the culmination of the years of battling to rise through the miasmic Cleveland music scene by singer-songwriter-guitarist-mandolinist- glockenspieler-mistress of the electric bouzouki –notorious femme fatale, Jen Poland. Raised in a musical family surrounded by guitars, fiddles and banjos, Jen began her musical career in the coffee houses around Kent State University.
After decisively rejecting her folk heritage, she formed the band Poland Invasion, which became a fixture of the Cleveland underground with their electro-mandolin fueled rock sound. The band included Evan Lieberman who had moved to Cleveland from Atlanta by way of Los Angeles to run the newly formed Film Program at Cleveland State University. An AFI-trained screenwriter as well as an award winning director and cinematographer, all Evan really wanted to do was play bass as he had done for popular Athens, Georgia ska-rockers, The Little Tigers, gender-bending L.A. noise band, Glue, and Blues legend Blind Joe Hill.
After going through other band members at a fairly rapid clip, they came upon Madelyn Hayes, a drummer with a powerful, soulful voice like a post hip-hop Aretha Franklin. The sound they had been looking for was finally realized, and it is this sound that can be heard on What You Do In The Dark. Smart, tuneful songwriting with lyrics that are equally heartfelt and passionate whether Jen and Madelyn are singing about the karmic retribution due those who have done them wrong (Ladykillers, Agent, Crawl), the inspiring characters who surround them (Fire, P$, Sherry Don’t Hide the Rum), or the social issues that concern them (Drone, Shallow Focus).
What You Do In The Dark is a movie for the ears. It is about the strange place we find ourselves in 2015 – a place of surveillance and paranoia, of double-dealing and backstabbing competition, a place where despair and alienation make it so hard to find love and connection and where music may be our best hope for deliverance. A place called Cleveland. A band called Kiss Me Deadly.