Rock Kills Kid
Are You Nervous?

Rock Kills Kid - Are You Nervous

Hey, did you hear? 80’s revival! Electronic dance music is in! Seriously guys, it’s the new wave. All the cool bands are doing it.

That has to be the rallying call going on at major labels these days. They’ve seen the trend and they’ve pounced. We’ve seen it in The Faint, Panic! at the Disco, Head Automatica, Men, Women & Children, etc., and the list goes on and on. I now welcome Rock Kills Kid to the family.

There’s one minor difference. Regardless of the amount of crap I’m going to get for the following statement – I’d take the new Rock Kills Kid over just about all of them.

Here’s why:

The album is an interesting blend of the 80’s, Jimmy Eat World, and a hint of U2-ish pop-rock that leaves the listener tapping their toes and singing along. It’s the kind of album your parents won’t hate. It’s quite possibly the best album no one with an sliver of “scene-credibility” is going to touch this year. Well, fuck ‘um. I think everything Mark Trombino has been working toward in his producing career leads up to this album. His production techniques enhance the album in all the right ways.

The lyrics are decent but sort of difficult to relate to at times. The vocals are above average; however, what the lead singer really has going for him compared to others in this new genre is that he sings down within his range instead of up and out of it. It makes all the difference in the world. The instrumentals / drum machine / ambient noises are what really make this album stand out. It’s the way the beats are so free flowing yet structured. It’s the simplicity in the sound and how the musicians (and producer) has used restraint to bring particular sounds to the forefront instead of burying them like some of their peers. The bass lines rip through the tracks and the drums have the reverb that make your speakers hum.

The Morrissey fan in me hears the influences. I am reminded particularly of “Piccadilly Palare,” and “Suedehead” – the Jimmy Eat World fan in me hears hints of Clarity. There’s some early Cure influences and some modern dance rock. It’s a fair balanced mixture that give most of the songs a distinct and unique feel. This is one of the rare times I am glad the album is only 10 tracks – any longer and the songs would start to bleed together.

The rare misses are the lead single, “Paralyzed” which has a chorus that becomes more repetitive then necessary. Further, I’m not a fan of the “hey, I need you” chant in the background of the second to last track on the album. Minus these two hiccups – the album is worth a listen for listeners looking to get a taste of “older music” while still not taking the leap completely. Much like Nightmare of You, if you missed the first run of the originals you might as well jump on board for the second round. The albums may be slightly less influential, and have a short shelve life in the music scene as the trend is sure to fade out … but just like “pop-punk” before, they sure are fun to listen to. And for my money, I recommend the ones that have slightly more substance and pack more of a punch than their peers. For me, Rock Kills Kid fits the bill. Sign me up to their mailing list, I’ll need to know when they’re on TRL.

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