For Fans Of
Musical trends within the punk/hardcore/metal scenes are an interesting phenomenon. Perhaps the defining one of the early-2000s was metalcore, one that started off as an exciting, fresh crossover genre that expanded the paradigmatic boundaries of both hardcore and metal. Sure enough, as it became more and more popular, and more and more bands decided they’d have a crack at it, metalcore became a filthy title like nu metal. Similarly deathcore has more recently seen a similar trend.
The emerging pop punk / hardcore genre has gone from the business of a handful of bands to a legitimate genre within its own right. Texan natives Kid Liberty are evidently a product of the current fad, combining traditional pop punk stylings with a tougher hardcore edge. Their latest effort “Fight With Your Fists”, the follow up to 2008’s “Never Say Never” EP, has been released through Bullet Tooth records. Just as a sidenote, the fact that their name was so similar to Kid Dynamite really pissed me off too. Either they’ve never heard of them which is embarrassing for a pop punk / hardcore band, or they’re just plain unoriginal (as their music would suggest).
The major weakness of this album is its absolute lack of consistency. While other bands blend heavier elements with pop punk catchiness with seamless ease, such as (love it or hate it) A Day To Remember, Kid Liberty really struggle. The songs fluctuate awkwardly between boppy pop punk guitar riffs and chuggy, pedestrian breakdowns. This lack of cohesion is also evident in the vocal-style, at different times sounding like literally every prolific pop punk and hardcore vocalist in existence (and a few metal ones too). The lyrics come across as extremely insincere, simply flogging the dead-horse themes of both pop punk and hardcore lyrics. Also off-putting was the Bring Me The Horizon style DJ-mixing (I don’t speak hip hop) of the vocals at various points.
The opener “Winds Of War” was just strange, combining emotive pianos and a computerised trumpet with wailing rocky guitars and dissonant vocals to create some what I’m sure they thought would be an ‘epic’ intro. “I’m Right Here” was an okay pop punk song, with somewhat catchy vocals and recycled poppy riffs. I say was, because for some reason they decided to ruin what the song had going for it, by ending with an ill-suited Acacia Strain style breakdown.
Obviously pop punk lyrics are never ground-breakingly original, but the lyrical content of “Keep On Pushin” sounds straight out of Set Your Goals’ “Summer Jam” or anything off A Day To Remember’s “Homesick” album. The title track “Fight With Your Fists” is one of the better tracks on the album. It opens with a really catchy riff, the music and vocals reminiscent of Four Year Strong’s older stuff. The lyrics again were somewhat cringe-worthy, as vocalist Trey Sexton declares “from this day forward … we’re gonna do one thing … keep it fucking real!”. Not a lot of ‘realness’ here that I could see.
“The Situation” is one of the diamonds in the rough, its riffs are pretty catchy and there is a genuinely cool vocal progression which sounds kinda like a barber-shop quartet or The Beach Boys. “Twelve More Days” is another goody, with great riffs and vocals. It has a great pop punk breakdown which is much more suited to their sound than the bulk of the others on this record. The final song “This Is A Stick Up!” is the heaviest track on the release, and for me embodied the weaknesses of this band. It awkwardly combines excessive heaviness with nasal singing and half-arsed screaming vocals before descending into what is quite honestly a shithouse breakdown.
Don’t get me wrong, this album has its moments. There are genuinely catchy poppy and heavy parts, however it ultimately doesn’t gel as an album like it should. Certainly not the worst of its genre, but also far from the best.
“Fight With Your Fists” is musically schizophrenic, trying to incorporate bit-sized chunks of a bunch of different genres in what ends up being just weird amalgamation of sounds. Rife with clichés, this release lacks a cohesive sound which is incredibly disconcerting for the listener. Funnily enough the pop punk elements of Kid Liberty’s sound are actually very appealing and have a degree of originality. Unfortunately their attempts at incorporating boring, cooky-cutter hardcore breakdowns ruin what this record had going for it. Don’t listen to me though, kids will probably love it.
1. The Winds Of War
2. I’m Right Here
3. Keep On Pushin’
4. Telephone Toughguy
5. Fight With Your Fists
6. Coolguy Deluxe
7. The New Recipe
8. The Situation
9. I’m Not A Person Anymore… I’m A Turtle
10. Twelve More Days
11. That’s What She Said
12. This Is A Stickup!