For Fans Of
When a band with a large following releases a new EP or album, you can expect to see all kind of reactions posted; from the most sincere, to the downright outrageous. But when a local, much smaller band releases something not much can often be heard and sometimes there’s no mayhem or uproar. Pop-punk outfit, Kids In Control are a band that formed back in 2013, but it seems that they are five years too late for this sound and for this genre. Consisting of Michael Bennett (Vocals), Justin Anderson (Bass/Vocals), James Piper (Guitar/Vocals), Daniel Falconer (Lead Guitar/Vocals) and Grant Myers (Drums), this release is most likely a pretty big deal for these dudes. But not for me, sadly.
First off, Kids In Control do have something going for them, as they’ve constructed some pretty good pop-punk songs here. But that’s just the thing, this is a genre that was huge over a decade ago, and maybe excluding The Wonder Years and The Story So Far, the only bands that still receive the mass attention are those who struck it big back them (bands like All Time Low, New Found Glory, Simple Plan, You Me at Six and Paramore). However, from a production standpoint, there’s a nice polished recording and solid mix here. However, the riffs, the melodies, and the lyrics all seem uninspired and recycled from older bands; bands that the KIC most likely look up to. Rather than trying to create their own sound or produce a pop-punk sound with their own flair, they’re too busy trying to sound like their influences. Imitation over inspiration, it seems.
I feel like I’ve heard all of these songs before, and that’s not a good thing. I want an ever developing music scene – no matter the genre – with new ideas and topics being brought to fruition. But something like say, ‘This Is How We Do‘, is a great All Time Low song and – oh wait a second, I’m reviewing Kids In Control here! It’s one thing to be influenced by a band, sure, but to use song titles and lyrics similar to other bands to the extent that Kids in Control do is a shame to see.
Now, something that can’t be unheard is a production “error” on the track, ‘Spotlights‘. There’s a terrible edit at the 1:35 and either no one noticed it or something went wrong in the mixing stage. It’s clear that two separate vocal takes have been squashed together, and it’s rather noticeable. I feel as though the band isn’t to solely blame for this going to market unless they approved it. Of course, it’s one thing for the engineer to try and use such a take, but for the band to then hear it and say “YEA WE LOVE IT” is a bit naive to me.
To write, record and release an EP is no walk in the park and Kids In Control should be congratulated for their effort. But I hope their next effort isn’t as mediocre as this, and they take my two cents on ‘Spotlights’ as constructive criticism. I’m sure they are great musicians and good dudes, but they need to go out on a limb and be their own band, I think. You can be familiar without being a rip-off. If they love this genre so much and can’t move past it, maybe consider being a cover band, as they would work perfectly in that market. If you’re still stuck in the year 2003, then Kids In Control will warm your heart.
1. Get Over Yourself
2. Remember When
3. This Is How We Do
4. Everything I Want
6. Anywhere But Here