North Carolina's Killwhitneydead are locked in a death match with California's Graf Orlock for the title of "cinema core" kings. Their M.O. is the same: fill every metallic space with as many cheesy movie samples as possible. These aren't just tacked-on intros; they're accents, transitions, and color commentary. Good thing there's no money in this business, as KWD's lawyers would have a bitch of a time clearing this absurd number of samples.
The list of sampled movies on Nothing Less Nothing More is so extensive it gets its own Wikipedia page. Saw 2, Kill Bill, Sin City, Reality Bites, The Devil's Rejects, and Thank You for Smoking are but a few of the films with cameos here. While the samples stand on their own in terms of quotability, KWD admirably fit them into the context of the lyrics. It's a hip-hop approach to sampling, and while it's a gimmick, it works.
Fortunately, the band doesn't lean too much on this crutch. In fact, the album is an amazingly seamless blend of hardcore punk, groove metal, melodic death metal, and straight-up death metal. The band effortlessly catapults from breakdowns to blastbeats, as Matt Rudzinski's scathing rasp and the oodles of samples tie everything together.
The guitar work is smokin', as 4/5 of KWD is melodic death metal band The Demonstration. "Skip the Break Up Get to the Make Up" sports an uncannily Kirk Hammett-esque solo (Rudzinski even says "Hit the lights"!). "(Here's an Idea) How about More of Me & Less of You" unleashes battering ram blastbeats and twisting, abstract harmonies. "Stop Crying Just Start Dying" detours through no-shit power metal and soaring clean vocals. Simultaneously rough-hewn yet precise, this album is much more "metal" than "core."
Rudzinski's lyrics speak to breakups and relationships gone bad, but in overly simplistic terms. Lines like "You're just another piece of shit / You're just a worthless son of a bitch" don't exactly advance the artform. An unnecessary and tacky cover of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" also stains the record. As a whole, though, it's nothing less and nothing more than a rollicking movie theater mosh pit.