On the Cusp
Nanaimo, BC
RIYL: horror and slasher flicks; critters; anarcho rock

Nanaimo punks KMVP have always railed against capitalism, maintained alignment with accountability politics, and expressed deep respect for the natural world. As capitalist greed, Earth’s climate, and anti-“woke” sentiment cross critical thresholds, it’s timely that KMVP have finally bestowed their debut LP unto the world, and it’s titled On the Cusp.

Across 11 tracks, Kristjanne Vosper—who founded the group in 2008 before they coalesced into a quartet in 2021—yelps, sneers, and snarls as she and Nxc Hxghxs unleash lashing guitars over Brendan Holm’s clubbing drums and Kellan McLaughlin’s bony bass lines. “Feminist 4 Beginners” and “Negative self talk therapy” acknowledge that personal growth comes with setbacks. “Stuck in A Ditch” wrestles with urban isolation. “The Truth About Mupets” resists conformity, which Vospers skewers as “peace of mind in predetermined plots.”

In classic KMVP fashion, the band dresses On the Cusp’s commentary in pop culture motifs, specifically from horror and slasher flicks. “They created a killer, and then they’re surprised,” Vosper sings about capitalism on “Jacking Off Orcas.” But such imagery comes off more as camp than macabre, adding levity to the memento mori.

To keep fighting the good fight, one must remain in light. Like all ecosystems, it’s a fragile balance. Walk the line with On the Cusp.

– Leslie Ken Chu