California synth-rock band A Kiss Could Be Deadly is the cousin of Shiny Toy Guns, complete with the catchy, tight, and retro dance-pop driving “The Exit”. Led by singer Lauren Baird, the group nails some of these songs out of the park, including “Just Another Mystery”, which could have been found on any K-Tel ‘80s compilation album. The group also comes off with panache during the hi-hat heavy “Broken Music” and the up-tempo, passionate “Posion IV” (get it, Poison I-V?). The only difference between A Kiss Could Be Deadly and Shiny Toy Guns is that the former rely more on the keyboards, while the latter use heaps of guitar to get the message home. As a result, this album seems a bit lightweight at times, making songs like “Damage Control” strong but not as stellar as it could be. Thankfully, the lightness is gone with the rather urgent “The Sequel” and the punk-ish “I Wrote You a Love Song” with Baird displaying her pipes. There’s some oomph on the record and “The Book, Not the Feeling” is a perfect example of that. If there was a tad more, it would be a great album, but it’s worth many listens regardless.
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