One of Flicker Records’ most beloved alumni bands have decided to not only get out of the way, but moreover, they have risen from the ashes like a phoenix (with a heartache) after nearly ten years since their last album was released. Never quite having one particular sound but always succeeding in the style they adopted, this band has done emo, punk, post-hardcore, and straight on rock n’ roll. Kids in the Way have become K I D S and Side A shows the band both evolving and maintaining some of their roots.
If there is one new style K I D S adopts this time around, I would describe it as indie. I would say that all of the songs, save for the high energy 90s rock of “Electric Truth,” have some element of indie to them. This new sound is most pronounced on “Lost Boy,” which features an acoustic guitar lead that carries the song with a quasi-alt-country sort of rhythm. “In Dreams” returns with the acoustic guitar, rendering a power ballad that is sure to get stuck in your head.
While K I D S are certainly capable of playing this indie style well, there is a somber mood to Side A that separates the EP from most of their past work, especially Safe from the Losing Fight and A Love Hate Masquerade. I would say that this is made most evident through the instrumentation, especially the acoustic guitars, the verses, and even some of the background vocals. To give one example of the third, “Sons of Old Glory” features what sounds like a quartet singing in a brooding tone: “This is the dawn of a new day, may we rest in peace.” This actually turned out to be my favorite song on Side A, with its beautiful chorus and a wonderful sustained note from singer Dave Pelsue at 2:35.
That being said, the majority of these songs still somehow remind me of Apparitions of Melody, albeit in a more indie flavored and mellow sort of way. Both albums share a gloomy tone, though the real difference with Side A is that it’s clearly the band’s most tame effort to date. As well, “Electric Truth” will surely please those who enjoyed A Love Hate Masquerade. If the former is your favorite Kids in the Way album, I think you’ll find a lot to like here.
Overall, this is a solid EP from a band that I’m happy to have back on the radar. I personally enjoyed four of the five songs, with the exception being “In Dreams,” as it was too repetitive and long for my liking. If you’re a Safe from the Losing Fight sort of fan like I am, the new style might not be your preference, but K I D S have undoubtedly brought a quality indie rock EP and I will surely be tuning into Side B.
EDIT: This is a strong 3 for me, that is to say, nearly a 4/5, in case there was any question about the adoration I have for this band. Rock on, K I D S!