Dutch Kills
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Dutch Kills

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Sounds"

Dutch Kills is alive with Nick Altebrando's indie-rock whimsy: The band sounds like an all-male version of Saturnine 60. Likewise, "Scalee 300 feet to the Inch" auto-glides right to the point with "Take You Home" which is full of moody keys, emotive guitars and group singer-songwriter nick Altebrando's low-key, almost Mac McCaughan-esque vocal take. The other four songs are more of the same--why mess with a good thing? And the best comes last with a bouncy "Girlfriend" kind of I-told-you-so tale.
-Kevin Armorin - Newsday

"Swizzle Stick Review"

Dutch Kills was the first Dutch settlement on Newtown Creek in the 1640s - a small beginning for what was to become the largest entity in Queens and the most heavily industrialized with railroad yards, a tunnel, bridges and rows of factories. In more recent years it's become an art colony with many of the factories and lofts converted to studios and art galleries.” (from LI History.com)

The romantic vision I have in my head of the Dutch Kills neighborhood is that it’s a place where hardworking blue-collar types mingle with artsy immigrants at the corner bar; where everyday struggles are everyday struggles regardless of your socio-economic status; where bartenders know people by name and extend open lines of credit to those that can’t necessarily afford a drink today but will be able to sometime next week when the next paycheck rolls in. In my vision of the Dutch Kills neighborhood, the band Dutch Kills is not so much an anomaly but rather just another piece of the neighborhood puzzle. They play the music that all of the residents – not just the hipsters – can identify with. It’s music that is neither happy nor sad but rather everyday music for everyday people.

With its gentle lo-fi delivery and emotive vocals, Dutch Kills often brings to mind the work of both of Mac McCaughan’s projects – Superchunk and Portastatic. The band originally started off as a solo project for lead singer Nick Altebrando who added a full band compliment for this release. Fortunately, although it is singer/songwriter fare, the final presentation doesn’t easily fit into that category thanks to the addition of the other players.

The shoegazerish “Planes,” with its mild experimental drone and soaring chorus, could easily have been lifted from an older Superchunk album (I’m thinking it would have fit in nicely on Foolish) and is the highlight of this 5-song EP. “Anchor” is a slow-burner that starts off quietly but climaxes at the 3-minute mark with heavily strummed acoustic guitars and keyboards and the warm and inviting “Girlfriend” sounds like a late Fall (when the leaves are changing colors) collaboration between Superchunk and Luna.

Fans of emo rock who understand that Superchunk is one of the grandfathers of that genre will definitely be wise to check this EP out. It’s a pretty low cost investment ($6) and your “donation” to the Dutch Kills bar tab will be much appreciated. (Chip Midnight)

- Swizzle-Stick

"Splendid review"

I guess I could headline this review Nice Boys From Queens Make Good. It's always nice for a Brooklynite to see others from areas dismissed as horribly backward by Manhattanites do something worthwhile. Let's face it, aside from unfunny prime-time network sitcoms, what do we ever hear from Queens? I mean, I've lived here for three years, and aside from trips to the airport, I've been to Queens twice.
Well, in this case, we hear moderately ambitious, melodic and serviceable indie-rock. There's some sturm, some anthemic choruses, a modicum of drang, some semi-tuneful singing, and a frothy dollop of portentousness that somehow only makes the whole thing endearing.

To be briefly critical, Scale 300 Feet To The Inch is indie-rock-by-the-numbers, with just enough quirk, just loose enough song structure, and just enough DIY to squeak into the customary definition. On the other hand, these guys are a million miles above and beyond most of the bands I've heard around NYC lately. Take, for instance, "Anchor", which starts out with a conventional acoustic two-minor-chord strum; it leads you to believe that it will be unremarkable for most of its first minute. Your first hint that something neat is going to happen is the strange and flat pronouncement that "it's a pirate's life for me". This Pirates of the Caribbean wink heralds the introduction of some Queen Is Dead-era synths, and a lead-up to a truly huge chorus that confounds the jaded listener's expectations in the best possible way.

The disc is five tracks long, and there's no debris here. The sound is not perfect, but it's also not bad at all. In addition, Dutch Kills sounds like a young band that's developing into its sonic style gradually. There's a great deal of talent, drive and chops for them to build on for a more fleshed-out full-length.

This is a solid release from a solid band. Who knows -- if they're playing any shows, they might even inspire me to travel up the Brooklyn-Queens expressway for a third visit.

-- Brett McCallon
- Splendid


The near-emo Dutch Kills shuffle between soft, pretty indie-pop and clamorous bloodletting. - Village Voice

"Sound check"

Dutch Kills is Alive and Well (back cover call out)

Dutch Kills wowed us a few years ago, and now they're back with "Nothing Was ever the Same." And indeed it is more of the same great indie-pop. Catch them at their record release show at Piano's this Friday, 10 PM. - Newsday

"CityZen Review"

... as they launched into the first song, “She’s a Star”, off of their latest release Nothing Was Ever the Same, it became obvious that this show wasn’t going to be as I expected. From the first ringing notes, this tight five-piece out of Queens, NY began weaving a sound that was both huge yet comfortingly intimate, immersing the audience in a space in which dreams would be shared and hearts would be bared. As the band played on, their big, haunting music filling the basement of the Delancey, I realized that the Dutch Kills had killed any preconceptions I’d had about them.

Whatever you may have heard or read about this band, there is no easy way of describing them. Channeling REM, Bob Mould, Radiohead, a little Superchunk and a dash of Robert Smith, the Dutch Kills’ exploded singer-songwriter style stretches beyond the simple label of “indie pop” while still paying homage to it, layering harmony and emotion in a very distinct yet familiar way. The bass and drums laid a solid foundation on which the guitars played over and through one another with graceful simplicity. The keyboardist added some whimsical texture to the harmonies, even picking up an accordion towards the end of the set for the song “Semi”. Through it all frontman Nick Altebrando’s sentimental lyrics, supported by Kevin Hodge’s backup vocals, floated in a touching, oddly nostalgic way, the only beacon in a sound so big you could get lost in it.

Melodies dripped out of the air like ghosts, changing and turning back around on themselves, so that as soon as you thought you’d heard them they was already gone, back to the shadows to play with the others. The beginning of the second song, “Planes” opened with some ambient bass, sounding like a huge, wet heartbeat, the song then slowly building up to a soaring chorus. Two thirds of the way into the set, “Katherine” switched things up a bit, throwing some dirt and gloom on everything, upping the angst factor, but soon we were right back to that wistful, poignant place with “Stormclouds”. During the set, those people who weren’t staring raptly at the stage had been unselfconsciously making out, reliving bygone teenage days of summer heat and too much time on your hands. The set ended with “Anchors”, from their first EP Scale 300 Feet to the Inch, the band slowly bringing us back to Earth, releasing us from the spell they had cast.

Don’t pass up the chance to see these guys. It was nice to see a band that not only played tight and solid but also didn’t care for posturing and pretentiousness. For good reason this group is generating a buzz on the scene, and if you don’t see them soon, you won’t be able to say, “Oh, I saw them when they were still playing the clubs…” - CityZen.tv

"Aiding & Abetting Review"

Branching out a bit from the more spare sounds of Scale 300 Feet to the Inch, Dutch Kills fills the speakers and still manages to keep a one-to-one conversation going strong.

That's what I liked best about that album. Most albums are obviously aimed at this or that sort of sound. Dutch Kills simply played to whatever listener was around. This may sound like a stupid distinction, but I would disagree. These boys have the knack of creating an intimacy with just a few notes. The music immediately drew me in. And I think it does the same for a lot more people as well.

I paged through some of the reviews, and no one really knows how to describe the band. That's what I'm talking about. The folks love the stuff but can't quite describe it. Not quite emo, not quite post-rock, not quite indie rock, not quite anything in particular. Just all them expressed in the most engaging way possible. Someday these boys are going to blow up something fierce. - www.cent.com/abetting

"Crashinin Review"

Lead singer, Nick Altebrando, has taken his band to a new sound that breaks all indie genres. Each dreamy song is an intense lyrical story of love, isolation and heartache. "Planes" is a dreamy story of lazy boys watching the world pass them by. The guitars create a heavily layered sound that creates a laid back soothing effect. Nick speaks of his inability to move forward in the world on "Anchor" and loss of love on "Girlfriend". A promising start for a band on the rise. - Crashinin.com

"Delusions of Adequacy Review"

Lost amid the hype of the current music scene is a band that should be playing on your stereo--now. Dutch Kills' new EP, Scale 300 feet to the Inch, may not have a catchy title, but it's a little treasure. The album, the New York band's second, sounds fresh and layered, with a dreamy, Americana country pop feel.

The songs each have something to offer, and while not ground breaking, they show potential for a full album. "Take You Home" is the opener, and with singer Nick Altebrando's pleading lyrics, its dancing guitars, and playful horn-like keyboards, it's a beautiful start. The somewhat surreal "Planes" starts with a sturdy bass and flicking guitar, and it describes passing time, feeling lost in time as people wave from passing planes. "Anchor" builds with electric and acoustic guitars dueling it out over the lyrics of lost feelings and lost identity: "It's a pirate's life for me / It's cold and isolated." "Legionnaires" has a lovely and haunting piano: "They can't hurt you / We've been watching." And "Girlfriend," delivered with a great rhythm guitar riff, is a cautionary tale of getting mixed up with the wrong girl again.

Scale 300 Feet to the Inch achieves that difficult balance of sounding familiar and new at the same time. This is one EP that I'll have on my stereo for a long time. It's brief and leaves you wanting more. I'm looking in the Village Voice to see where they'll be playing next.

- Delusions of Adequacy

"Big Takeover, Spring 2008"

From Big Takeover, Spring 2008:
Nick Altebrando doesn't release music as often as I'd like him too, but when he does, he does it right. Steeped in Queens, NY lore, Dutch Kills somehow manages to sound very un-NYC like, adopting the type of sound most often associated with college towns like Athens, Georgia, Chapel Hill, North Carolina or even Columbus, Ohio. It's open-air indie rock where the stars peak through the hazy, late summer clouds at twilight. Altebrando's vocals aren't the type to land him in the final 12 on American Idol, they are less than perfect in the same way Dean Wareham's are which is to say they fit the music just as they should. On each Dutch Kills, there seems to be a standout track - on Scale 300 Feet to the Inch it was the mesmerizing "Planes", on Nothing Was Ever the Same it was "Semi" and on Blissville it's the electric-piano driven "Coming Down" which builds to a strong and noisy Neil Young-style midsection. Blissville indeed! - Big Takeover


Blissville LP 2007
Nothing Was Ever the Same, 2004 EP
Scale 200 Feet to the Inch, 2002 EP

Radio Airplay for Blissville:
#182 on 7/11, and #154 on 7/19 on CMJ charts
Individual charting cities:
CHMR St. Johns NL-Canada, KASC Tempe AZ, KCUR Kansas City MO, WBNY Buffalo NY, WEGL Auburn University AL, WICB Ithaca NY, WIDR Kalamazoo MI,
WRUR Rochester NY, WSUW Whitewater WI, WSYC Shippensburg PA, WTTU Cookeville TN, WUPJ Johnstown PA.

Airplay for "Nothing Was Ever the Same"
Live Performance on KEXP on April 7, 2005 - listened to by 34,000 people.
KEXP - Seattle ("Your new favorite band" selection, January 24, 2005)
Charted on:
KBVR - Corvallis, OR, KRTU - San Antonio, TX, KWCW - Walla Walla, WA, KWUR - St. Louis, MO, WTCC - Springfield, MA, WXJM - Harrisonburg, VA.



Hailing from the Outer Boroughs of NYC, DUTCH KILLS defines their own brand of Indie Rock Americana on their first full-length CD, Blissville (Wordclock). Blissville is a section of Queens wedged between a cemetery, a polluted waterway and an elevated portion of the Long Island Expressway lined with 400-foot high billboards that glow platinum in the night sky.

Blissville uses a curious combination of sounds – synthesizer often blends with accordion; Rhodes piano finds a pretty melody over layers of distorted guitars. With songs about subways that never come and movie dates that never arrive, Blissville leaves us feeling a bit like the protagonist of “Sunday is the Greatest Day” – a song about a summer town in winter that’s leading the CD as it climbs the CMJ top 200. At the time of the CD release, Blissville was charting in over 20 markets and getting spins in 40 cities in the US and Canada.

DUTCH KILLS’ last release, the EP Nothing Was Ever the Same, charted on over a dozen college and freeform radio stations, and led to a “Your Next Favorite Band” feature on Seattle’s KEXP and a live perfomance on the popular John in the Morning show.