Sporting one of the weirdest band names ever, Scary Kids Scaring Kids started the band as a high-school project. Now 18 and 19, they are releasing their debut full-length album for Immortal Records. The band has been named the "rock symphony", far before Green Day ever got the title of being a "punk rock opera".
The City Sleeps In Flames - 8/10
The CD starts out very strong. "The City Sleeps In Flames" is very melodic, with lots of guitar licks and and a dark feel to the song, and at 4 minutes, it manages to keep you hooked until the end. There's an even amount of screaming and singing in this song. A very emotional part of the song comes near the end, with Tyson singing "everythings gonna be fine" over and over, finally ending with him screaming.
The Only Medicine - 9/10
We then go into "The Only Medicine", one of the more harder songs of the album. We hear the main intro in one speaker, then the right, and then the song builds into a screaming and amazing track. The keyboard really makes this song for me, SKSK can pull off the cheesy keyboard melodies and combine them with their superb song-writing. The final thing I love about this song would be the solo, it's just so beautifully played.
The World As We Know It - 7/10
"The World As We Know It" has a more slower feel to the song, starting out with the full band with the keyboard being the main focus. The keyboard comes back in the chorus, which makes the song much better already. In the bridge of the song he doesn't really sing, more along the lines of talking. This is followed by some screaming and very Norma Jean type breakdown. Once again, the keyboard makes this song very very catchy.
What's Said And Done - 8/10
The next song has a much more down-beat feel to it, and almost sounds like Saosin. "What's Said And Done" is a lot smoother than the beforehand, more up-beat songs. It focus' more on the bass and drums in the verses, and Tyson's voice sounds perfect over the top. This sounds more like a radio-single to me, but then again it still displays a great musical ability and a wonderful vocal track.
Just A Taste - 7/10
Another slower song here, "Just A Taste" combines a calm clean guitar with the palm-muted distorted guitar to create a melodic feel that just feels relaxing with Tyson's beautiful voice. This is a much more poppier song, and the chorus certainly proves this. The keyboard really adds to the effect as well. This may be more emotional than "What's Said And Done", but the music is certainly not as impressive.
My Darkest Hour - 9/10
Oh yes, the keyboard melody in this is so cheesy it could be taken straight from a glam rock song. Combine this with a catchy riff and superb vocals and you have one of the best songs on the album. A lyric that really sticks out to me in this song is "You left me at the alter, with my heart in my hand". It's just so descriptive and precise. This is one of the better songs on the album, being able to be less rockier and more catchier without losing the band's definitive sound.
Drowning - 8/10
This is more of a screaming/singing combination, and I think the band have pulled it off effectively. "Drowning" sounds like it could be taken straight from a Thrice album, the music and the vocals just sounds so raw and twisted. The catchies part of this song, is the keyboard solos. I don't know of too many bands that have actual solos for their keyboardist, but SKSK pull it off so well. A great song here.
The Bright Side Of Suffering - 5/10
Next we have one of the more "over-produced" songs on the album. The piano intro with the sound of birds and outdoors quickly leaps into the full band. The riffs in this song sound more metally than the other songs, especially the pinch-harmonics you hear every now and again. Overall, I didn't think this song was that special, but it has it's moments.
Enpty Glasses - 7/10
With an intro that sounds like it could've been taken straight from Sonic 2, "Empty Glasses" is another catchy and well written song. Very upbeat almost pop punkish chorus, the keyboard plays a big part in bringing that poppier sound to the song. Although this is one of the more catchier songs, sounding like Reggie And The Full Effect in places, it is lacking energy that ruins it for me.
Faith In The Knife - 6/10
Another melodic song which uses a catchy keyboard riff with heavy guitars and a great singing/screaming combo. Sadly, after about 30 minutes, this formula begins to tire and get old. The song itself is a good song, the riffs are quite complicated and catch you off guard, but that's about all I like about this song.
A Breath Of Sunshine - 8/10
"A Breath of Sunshine" is the final track, and closes out a very well written album perfectly. Just very slow guitar picking during the chorus, with the chorus picking up. The keyboard is nowhere to be found for a while, and it works a lot better and gives the album a bit of a break. Tyson's voice can be a little loud at times, but it still works amazingly with the music of the song.
Overall, this album was one of the most hyped about in the underground pop-punk and rock world. After their EP last year, big things were expected. This album doesn't fully deliver in my opinion. It is consistant, and keeps the sound of the band all the way through the record. But there is barely any change in music, which is disappointing and boring after 40 minutes.
Of course, when you begin listening to this album, you get sucked into it no matter how hard you try. Their ability to fuse hard rock songs with catchy keyboard riffs and wonderful vocals just pulls you deeper into the world of Scary Kids Scarying Kids. It only really dies a little nearer the end, but then picks up slightly.
Besides, I'd probably buy this CD just for the kickass cover art
- The City Sleeps In Flames
- The Only Medicine
- My Darkest Hour
- A Breath Of Sunshine