Review Summary: The Kidcrash's debut brings excellent twin guitar work and a Robert Smith sound-alike.
"Cause you're a hit in shopping malls,
You're the *** that makes us all want to quit.
'Cause you're a hit in shopping malls,
You're the *** that makes us all want to quit."
So sings Alex Gaziano in the first track of New Ruins
, The Kidcrash's debut full length album.
One can assume he is referring to the myriad of bands copying the former sounds of the underground, spreading a generic sound throughout popular culture.
On the surface, New Ruins
sounds like a slightly more creative version of what you might hear in those shopping malls, but dig a little deeper, and you're likely to find an album much more dense and intelligent than anything Gaziano is referring to in Your Valley Is Our Volcano
Singer and guitarist Gaziano's voice is one of the closest imitators to The Cure's Robert Smith that I may have ever heard.
Full of the heartache and emotion Smith was known for, Gaziano seems like the perfect choice for main vocalist, even if his delivery will never be quite as heart wrenching as Smith's can be.
The only problem with Gaziano's voice, if you can even call it a problem, is that it can distract from the guitars, which are far and away the highlight of New Ruins
Full of angular counterpoints, arpeggiated riffs and huge, emotive crashes of power chords and smartly spaced jazz chords, the guitars bring a twin attack that yields some of the most amazing two guitar interludes heard since the days of Fripp and Belew.
So as not to shine on the guitars too much, the bassist and drummer are extremely technically skilled as well.
The drum parts are varied and "mathy", never following a simple pattern for too many measures, always managing to stay busy and interesting.
As for the basslines, they add a beautiful underbelly to the wall of guitars, adding a deeper flavor of sound that is almost as melodic and technical as the guitars.
The band as a whole also writes and arranges songs very well, knowing exactly when the perfect moment to launch into a flurry of arpeggios or the precise second to tone things down with quiet guitar interludes that are, ironically in their low level of volume, as bombastic as any of the "heavier" moments on the album.
If New Ruins
has any problems, it is that the band sticks fairly close to one tempo, not speeding up much, and while it really isn't necessary, it is what keeps The Kidcrash's debut from reaching classic emo status.
is a well structured, intelligent emo album that just happens to contain some of the best guitar parts heard in a long time.