For Fans Of
It’s not a good sign when you make an initial judgement of a band purely by which label they are signed to. But before listening to single note of In Gold Blood, it’d be worth noting what Roadrunner records is known for. Metal and Nickelback. So upon playing the album, it was refreshing to hear music that couldn’t be clumped in either of those categories.
Kicking of proceedings with “Gold Blood”, Welsh band Kids In Glass Houses hit the ground running with enough swagger to convince you they’ve been playing together longer than their current eight year span would indicate. Driven by a ballsy riff over double-time drums, vocalist Aled Phillips croons in a taunting manner, almost daring you to come along with him. Despite having a voice many platinum selling artists would kill to have, the wall-of-sound backing vocals in the chorus, which are littered throughout the album, launches the track onto the next level.
There’s a healthy dose of ‘80’s power rock influence on In Gold Blood, no better demonstrated than on “Teenage Wonderland”, while the early moments of “Diamond Days” recall memories of Don Henley’s hit “Boys of Summer”. Brass gets a look in on “The Florist” which gets the feet tapping, and puts you in the headspace of imagining the song’s sad childhood memories.
At times it feels like the band is trying too hard to reach for the stars, with “Not in this World” having a chorus that sounds like an attempted modern day “Hey Jude”.
They crank up the fuzz and falsetto on “Animals” to ambitious levels, which is sure to attract the Jane’s Addiction crowd. In spite of this, it still feels like controlled chaos on what feels like the bands biggest attempt to break the shackles of being pigeon holed into a particular genre. It’s a repeated effort on “Black Crush”, although the band sounds like it has doubled in size.
“Only the Brave Die Free” provides smooth saxophone work, as well as plenty of opportunities for crowd participation when Phillips sings “So keep your eyes on me / Only the brave die free / We’re not invincible / We are in agony”.
After a while, the songs start to lose an engaging element, as “Annie May” and “Fire” pass by without much fuss, and “God to Many Devils” is rather dull ending, despite the bridge revisiting the distorted guitar work that would see them matching it with rock music’s heavy hitters, present and past.
It was hard not to compare each song on In Gold Blood to another artist. This is not necessarily a bad thing, when you consider all the recent artists who have dug through their parent’s record collections to help influence a big career. Considering this is Kids In Glass Houses third album, you can sense they’re very close finding their feet and hitting their strides.
1. Gold Blood
2. Teenage Wonderland
3. Diamond Days
4. Not in this World
5. The Florist
7. Only the Brave Die Free
8. Annie May
10. Black Crush
11. A God to Many Devils