May 4th, 1970 is a day that will forever dwell in the depths of our collective American psyche. Tragedy struck the nation as innocent blood was shed on the grounds of Kent State University. During a Vietnam War protest, four students ended up callously murdered, while nine other young adults were injured by the trigger of Ohio National Guardsmen. Kids killing kids for no apparent reason as lives were forever altered. It was not a pretty day for the sleepy college town of Kent, Ohio. Public opinion was swaying as the tides turned in an already unpopular war. A dark shadow was cast over the Presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon.
Over thirty years later I found myself as a naive, skateboard clad college freshmen, living thirty feet from where the disastrous massacre took place. I have always been a curious person and it wasn’t long before Kill The Hippies shuffled across my radar They had biting, sarcastic lyrics set to upbeat punk tunes. The band name came from the slaughter of May 4th, 1970. Soon I was regularly playing on bills with KTH. I found out they started in 1993 and have been moving onward ever since then. Singer Morte Treehorn even recorded one of my old bands demos and provided a hilarious hidden track at the end.
KTH shared a member with Sockeye at one point and released a number of 7 inches over the years. They have done some touring but were never really one of the bands that was picked up by trendy labels or written about in the “cool” kid magazines/blogs. I don’t think they particularly care but it kind of irks me. They pretty much slay most snotty punk bands. If a Killed By Death collection is ever released for the 1990s, these Ohio mainstays deserve a rightful place on the track listing. Check them out and good luck tracking down the records, suckers!
-Matt G @rustbelthammer