Dazzling Killmen

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Dazzling Killmen
OriginSt. Louis, Missouri area
GenresMath Rock
Noise rock
Years active1990–1995
LabelsSkin Graft Records, Crime Life Records, Intellectual Convulsions, Sawtooth Records
Associated actsLaddio Bolocko, Brise-Glace, The Mars Volta, Colossamite
Past membersNick Sakes
Darin Gray
Blake Fleming
Tim Garrigan

Dazzling Killmen was a math rock band from the St. Louis, Missouri area. Formed in 1990, the group issued four singles and two full-lengths before officially ending in 1995, with a majority of it released through the independent label Skin Graft Records. Taking influence from hardcore punk and jazz music, the band has been noted by critics to of helped influence genres such as math rock[1] and post-metal[2]


The group, which formed in 1990, was composed of jazz students—drummer Blake Fleming, bassist Darin Gray, vocalist/guitarist Nick Sakes, and later on guitarist Tim Garrigan, who joined the group initially as a guest musician for the "Medicine Man" 7-inch single. Gray, Fleming, and Garrigan all previously performed in their school band in high school. The group has named bands such as Ultraman, Black Flag, Minutemen, Captain Beefheart, Big Black, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane influences for their personal sound.[1]

With their early singles and 1992 debut LP Dig Out the Switch, Dazzling Killmen caught the attention of the Chicago-based noise rock label Skin Graft Records, who proceeded to release the band's next few singles as well as their second and final full-length Face of Collapse. The group would later break up in the fall of 1995, immediately prior to a planned tour of Japan with Jim O'Rourke.[3]

Today, its members are better-known for their later projects - Nick Sakes has been in bands Colossamite, Sicbay, and xaddax. Darin Gray was in Brise-Glace, and has performed and recorded with Jim O'Rourke and with Glenn Kotche in On Fillmore. Blake Fleming was in Laddio Bolocko, The Mars Volta[4] and Electric Turn to Me. Tim Garrigan, now based in Brooklyn, is a solo performer.


Dazzling Killmen has been cited as an influence by musicians such as Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan,[5] Jes Steineger of Coalesce,[6] Mike Taylor of Pg. 99,[7] KEN mode,[8] Knut,[9][10] and The Nation Blue.[11]

The group's music has been stated to of helped influence the development of multiple genres of music, with Brad Cohen writing for Clryvnt stating that the band "helped usher in myriad movements, including math rock, math metal and progcore, all the while defying classification."[12] Robin Jahdi named Face of Collapse as one of the best post-metal albums ever released, also stating that Dazzling Killmen "were ostensibly noise rock" and that they had left behind a "fantastic – if largely unknown – legacy in the form of [Face of Collapse]."[2] In 2013, Spin magazine named Blake Fleming as among the 100 best drummers in alternative music.[4]




  • Numb/Bottom Feeder 7" (1990, Sawtooth Records)
  • Torture/Ghost Limb 7" (1991, Crime Life Records)
  • Mother's Day Split 7" (1991, Skin Graft/Sluggo Records)
  • Medicine Me/Poptones 7" + Comic Set (1993, Skin Graft Records)

Live Albums[edit]

  • Lounge Ax CS (1993, Skin Graft Records)



  1. ^ a b Cohan, Brad (2016-11-29). "How Dazzling Killmen Merged Avant-Garde Jazz And Punk Fury". clrvynt.com. Clrvynt. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  2. ^ a b Jahdi, Robin (2015-06-24). "The Top 40 Best Post-Metal Records Ever Made". factmag.com. FACT Magazine. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  3. ^ Dazzling Killmen's page at Skin Graft Records
  4. ^ a b Various (2013-05-21). "The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music". spin.com. Spin. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  5. ^ Weinman, Benjamin (October 30, 2013). "Under the Influence: Dillinger Escape Plan's Ben Weinman". The Skinny. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Siegl, Michael (June 6, 2009). ".: INTERVIEWS :: Jes Steineger von Coalesce". Metalnews.de (in German). Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Ritchey, Glenn (August 10, 2017). "Pageninetynine look back on "Document #7″". www.invisibleoranges.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Morgan Ywain Evans (May 15, 2013). "Interview: KEN Mode – Entrenched in Noise". metalriot.com. Brooklyn, New York. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Martinelli, Roberto (2004). "KNUT". www.maelstromzine.com. No. 9. Archived from the original on December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "KNUT - Interview du 18/06/2004" (in French) (published March 10, 2005). June 18, 2004. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Reekie, Matt (August 3, 2009). "Van Demons". Unbelievably Bad. No. 5. p. 30. Retrieved March 9, 2018. Tom Lyngcoln: [...] Another band that me and Dan [McKay] used to rip off big-time was Dazzling Killmen. In the first four years there was bits of our songs that were like, "Dude, that's pretty much the entire song." We've never denied it, we've always advertised the fact because we reckon they're a kick-arse band and people should hear them. [...]
  12. ^ Cohan, Brad. "How Dazzling Killmen Merged Avant-Garde Jazz and Punk Fury". CLRVYNT. Retrieved 2018-12-27.

External links[edit]