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Kidcrash Jokes

01. Turtlelephant 02. The Ground That Eats You 03. Life Was Real. Vital. Urgent. Important/Bum Guts 04. Hypothetical Basking Shark 05. Kissed by a Roach from the Grave 06. Parrots Just Don't Understand 07. Ron Ghousley's Fucked Up Dream (Ron to the Hills. Ron For Your Life) 08. A Conduit Rather Than a Vault 09. Swingsets and Frozen Grapes
2007 Init Records
Our score 8

by Nick

Every once in a while a band will pull a complete one-eighty in their sound between albums, and while the reasons for such a shift are often undisclosed, the results always have a bit of a curious appeal. In this case, it's Init Records' Kidcrash, a group whose 2004 debut record, New Ruins, was a slice of pop/emo rock along the lines of Park, a far cry from the instrumentally driven screamo heard on this sophomore release, Jokes. A few clean melodies may have survived the the jump between albums, but without the name, the Kidcrash of today would be impossible to link to the Kidcrash of old. And unlike many other bands who have attempted such a radical shift, these guys pulled it off, for Jokes is a fine piece of musicianship, and a must have in this genre. Kidcrash's ability to write excellent guitar parts that wind themselves around driving bass lines is the foundation of Jokes. Whether it's heard in the up-tempo, Hot Cross-esque intro of "Parrots Just Don't Understand" or the cleaner sections in songs like "Life Was Real. Vital. Urgent. Important/Bum Guts," this quality is what makes the disc. Much like their screamo peers in Balboa, Kidcrash handles their transitions with ease, despite the fact that the material on Jokes is far more spastic and unpredictable than that of Balboa's work. The album closer, "Swingsets and Frozen Grapes," is a meticulously crafted track that slowly builds from a single clean guitar into an explosive mid-song climax. The track continues to alternate between melodic passages and short, but intense outbursts, all tied together with fluid songwriting and sporadic screaming. And although the climaxes never reach a cathartic level of Saetia proportions, their ability to make such sudden shifts while maintaining a cohesive sound is rather impressive. Kidcrash's sparing use of vocals is yet another high point. Music comes first on the disc, and the occasional scream fits well with Jokes' otherwise instrumentally driven nature. The slightly hollow screams work perfectly to accentuate the disc's periodic eruptions, but would have potentially became tiresome had they been responsible for carrying more weight. But as it stands, the current dosage of vocals on Jokes is near-ideal and quite enjoyable. Bottom Line: The drastic change in Kidcrash's style between 2004's New Ruins and this year's Jokes is definitely for the better. Their one-dimensional pop/emo rock sound of old has been replaced with a spastic, yet still well-transitioned, melodic screamo style that fans of the genre should definitely be able to get behind. Anyone into melodic screamo, or even those who just enjoy instrumentally driven songwriting, should check this out.


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din_ 10/24/2007 12:07:50 PM

#1, baby

Fur_Beach_ 10/24/2007 3:06:28 PM

who dey?

DCD_ 10/24/2007 3:06:41 PM

deek trap

FTW_ 10/24/2007 3:30:16 PM

good review

jerseyislame_ 10/24/2007 4:20:00 PM

nice grammar, gay

daikini_ 10/24/2007 4:25:56 PM

good album but i prefer new ruins. it wasn't as "one-dimensional" as you say, the drumming and song structures were actually decently complex.

daikini_ 10/24/2007 4:30:37 PM

agree about the vocals though, i think they're used tastefully and it's quite effective.

savemefromtheoutsideworld_ 10/25/2007 1:02:32 AM

lol @ references to hot cross and saetia, when you could just come out and say it: off minor did this better 5+ years ago.

hxcobd_ 10/25/2007 4:01:06 AM

Album of the year. New Ruins is great, but is in no way better than Jokes. The song structures are just flawless. So incredibly memorable and flow together so well. f*ck you if you don't like this.

nightmare_ 10/25/2007 8:12:36 PM

how can screamo be instrumental? the improper terminology is killing my head

barfag_ 11/1/2007 9:42:44 PM

no hear ever but this review was at least readable.