Well-known for their memorable guitar riffs, CKY is an American rock band that does not tie itself to one genre when creating music. Having formed in 1998 and releasing their debut album Volume 1 in 1999, the band has seen much success amongst the US charts with the release of their first and later albums.
What got me about the band when I had first discovered their music, though, was their surprisingly dark and visceral lyrical content. Many would beg to differ about what they create being "beautiful," but that’s exactly what it is. Beautifully written, beautifully constructed, and above all else, observant of humanity and the state of our society.
And so for all you newcomers out there—here’s a list of my personal favourites, that’ll hopefully help to draw you into the relentless sound of Camp Kill Yourself.
1. 96 Quite Bitter Beings
Think horror. The song is about two strangers getting caught in the fictitious town of Hellview, where they then attempt to escape the 96 outcasts that live there. Arguably known as the band’s most popular track, this song is definitely an experience of intensity and trance that is not to be overlooked.
2. Escape From Hellview
Being the continuation of "96 Quite Bitter Beings", "Escape from Hellview" carries the same intensity as its prequel, but this time drifting from tones of uncanniness and determination. It’s hard not to fall for the song's lyrics, as they manage to put a deeper spin to the fictitious story, that now leaves more room for interpretation.
3. The Other Ones
Simple and catchy with a great guitar solo, this song is about keeping secrets. But what makes this tune as relatable as it is are its lyrics that can take on a double meaning that depends on the past experiences of the listener.
4. Head For A Breakdown
If the word "foreshadowing" had a sound, this would be it. "Head for a Breakdown" discusses what its like to take things too far, even if you know they’re not going to end well. The lyrics are memorable, the tone is somber, and the song is just another one of CKY’s beautifully composed pieces.
5. Better Than Get Even
Solemn in its own right, the sound alone of this song conveys the struggles of feeling trapped and fighting whatever the cause of that feeling is. The lyrics portray determination and escape, while still managing to contrast the instrumentals, in a way that doesn’t change the mood "Better Than Get Even" sets. A genuinely well-thought out piece, that listeners are sure to appreciate!