Since the very beginning women have inspired Rock songs. One suspects that 95% of the guys who pick up a guitar do it, not for a love of music, but to impress girls. However, not all this motivation has been positive. Sometimes hearts get broken and it shows up in lyrics - and elsewhere. Connecticut native Mat Devine wrote the revenge-themed "Kill Hannah" after his turbulent relationship with "Hannah" bit the dust. Sometimes it helps to get it down on paper or in Devine's case, his four-track. Fortunately, that was as far as Devine's retaliation efforts traveled. And even though he and Hannah are still "friends" Devine thought Kill Hannah would be a great name for a group. The song itself has long disappeared from the set list.
Devine moved to Chicago's North Shore suburbs during his senior year in high school then enrolled at Illinois State in Normal, hardly a hot bed of Rock. Not surprisingly, he just didn't fit in. The time alone was spent playing guitar, writing and recording songs. It was during this period that he had the brief dalliance with Hannah. Devine eventually bailed on college and returned to Chicago where he assembled a group. Members came and went before the final line-up of Devine, guitarists Dan Wiese, and Jonathan Radtke, bassist Greg Corner, and drummer Garret Hammond was set.
Influenced by The Cure, Kill Hannah released three EPs ("Hummingbirds The Size Of Bullets," "Stunt Pilots" and "Sleeping Like Electric Eels") and two albums ("Here Are the Young Moderns" and "American Jet Set"). These indie efforts, local shows and their web site built a strong following and moved the group to the next level. Namely, their major label debut "For Never And Ever" produced by Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, No Doubt, and Slayer).
"For Ever and Never" is power-pop at its best. The guitar slams down on a single note while Devine emotes in a high nasal manner like a less troubled Billy Corgan. The songs are filled with undeniable hooks. "They Can't Save Us," the single "Kennedy," "10 More Minutes With You" and "Boys & Girls" deliver.
Taking a step back check out "Stunt Pilots" and "American Jet Set" to catch the development of their polished and arty sound.