I was tempted to start this review with a “for fans of” reference, but that’s both lazy and mean. Kid You Not aren’t reinventing the punk rock wheel here but, c’mon -- if you’re listening to punk that’s not what you should expect in the first place. It’s a derivative style that’s more about energy, emotion and community than art.
Based in St. Augustine, FL, Kid You Not delivers verse-chorus-verse pop-structured songs that culminate in a singalong chorus, often a group chorus with harmony. The vocals are rough around the edges and the production matches that: clean but never crisp, using real grit to convey additional emotion. Most of the time it’s cathartic in nature, and this record shows a lot of Iron Chic influence. While I cite Iron Chic for the emotional pull, musically it’s more direct and less dramatic.
A lot of Thanks, I Hate It is mid-tempo in nature, with first person lyrics and a constant struggle or longing. The tempos shift, using dynamic changes and crescendos to bring the emotional punch (at the chorus). “And Those Who Don’t Can Go To Hell” showcases Kid You Not’s overall template well. The song rises and falls in tandem with the lyrics, using symbolic instrumental bridges as the lyrics search for meaning. It’s moody punk that matches words with the tone in an endless search for meaning that cynically gives up and settles for finding identity in a big cathartic chorus instead. The title track has a good example of the heart-on-sleeve approach:
I sleep but I don’t dream/
Or put faith in anything/
Questions are all I have/
And nothing adds up when I’ve done the math
While the lyrics dabble in defeatism, the musical progression counters with a glimmer of hope and eternal ambition, which softens the emotional blow and provides needed potency. Brimming with coarse, sing-your-throat-raw gang vocals, this isn’t circle pit punk rock or sweat-away-your troubles as you pogo punk. It sounds and feels like getting punched in the gut.
Released digitally on Deep Elm and on vinyl via Bypolar.
7.0 / 10
Posted June 6, 2020, 10:20 a.m.
Celebrating 25 years in 2020, independent label Deep Elm Records has shared it's 14th label sampler, titled Farewells. The new compilation includes a total of 16 tracks coering a ...
Posted Aug. 25, 2017, 7:17 p.m.
Melodic punk group Kid You Not has joined Deep Elm Records for the upcoming release of their debut full-length. The St. Augustine, FL band will release Never A Dull Movement ...
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