No Serial Killer is a Chicago-based project, here with their self-titled, 64-track, 136 fucking minute full-length. There are elements of this album that I can get behind, but, as a whole, it does little to justify its colossal runtime. No Serial Killer is ambitious and lazy at the same time. A.K.M., the mastermind behind the project, has a real sense of theatricality, with a style reminiscent of a Broadway musical. Where the album flops for me is in its repetition. A.K.M. is solid behind the keys and has obvious vocal talent but falls into the same song structure more often than not.
Saying this album has 64 tracks is a little misleading. Each song has a brief spoken word introduction and there is a short intro and outro to the album; in actuality, it’s only 30 tracks. No Serial Killer kicks off with the song “Birds of Prey,” a peppy piano number featuring some slick guitarwork and theatrical vocals. It’s a catchy enough tune, but, as will become a common flaw throughout the album, has no business being as long as it is. Some better displays of A.K.M.’s style are tunes like “Deep In My Heart,” “Close Ta You,” or “Celia.” All three of these tracks boast some impressive and incredibly catchy vocal melodies and get out before they overstay their welcome.
Admittedly, I’m critical of long albums. I don’t specifically hate long releases, but there has to be a reason for it. I don’t feel that No Serial Killer has a reason to be as long as it is. Musically, there’s a serious lack of diversity across these 30 tunes. The bouncy bass piano playing that gives the album a sense of character is something I ultimately came to resent. Songs like “Anyway,” “Baby,” “Misfit,” and “My Friend,” among many others, have such a similar structure that it’s hard to want to push through to the end of the album. Conceptually, I don’t feel No Serial Killer is fully realized. Granted, without lyrics available, it’s hard to tell exactly where A.K.M. is trying to take things throughout this ride, but based on the Bandcamp description, I don’t feel like I can grab onto an idea.
No Serial Killer really swung for the fences with this album. There are plenty of interesting moments throughout the two hour-plus runtime, but there are considerably more dull moments. I think A.K.M. has enough natural talent and charisma to put together an interesting, theatrical piece of music, but GOOD GOLLY, reign it in next time.
Written by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Dominic Abate