Big Kids
Hoop Dreams


4.0
excellent

Review

by Statrick Pickles USER (63 Reviews)
April 13th, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An infinite supply of high-fives.

I believe it was the revered American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who commented that "youth comes but once in a lifetime." His words come across as perfectly obvious and their message crystal clear, beseeching us to make the most of our younger years before they are but bygones and memories. However, it seems our dear Longfellow has failed to specify exactly what years of one's life are defined as youthful - an omission that Oakland-based Big Kids are taking full advantage of. Just as their name suggests, these California punk-rockers are still living out their adolescence to the fullest, despite their 1980's birth certificates and overt abilities to grow facial hair. With the release of their debut LP Hoop Dreams, Big Kids show us how to grow older without growing up, doing so with flair, flannels, and (hi) fives aplenty.

To start in a rather blunt manner, Hoop Dreams is by no means a collection of songs you've never heard before. Hell, scores of artists have written singles and albums about their reluctance to act their age, from the Descendents and their aptly-titled record "I Don't Want To Grow Up" to the 1992 Tom Waits song of the same name. Where this LP finds its niche, however, is in the unwavering youthful energy that the band puts into every track. Their tireless instrumentation barely even breaks to sip beer between songs, pounding out eager tracks in rapid succession. Frontman Jason Romero further fuses the euphonious ordeal a la Brian King of Japandroids, adding tasteful, nostalgic songwriting and a punk-ish vitality to the mix.

"Get Motion!" stands as the record's most anthemic track, a fantastic tribute to the recklessness of youth. "Forget what it feels like to lose a life clocking 45 hours a week, in hell just to eat and sleep, repeat. I wanna get back to that place where the only thing that mattered was moving!" The song is a perfect reminder of Longfellow's words, urging us to live the life we love rather than the one we feel confined to. Most of Hoop Dreams comes off in a similar fashion, from songs reflecting on the teenage years of their parents to typical but fun musings about endless parties and good times. However, everything the record stands for truly comes together on "3,000 Hi-Fives", the album's undisputed high point. The track builds and builds on its own youthful effervescence, culminating in its choral conclusion of "3,000 miles from home, 3,000 hi-fives to go!" Though the track marks the end of the album, the party lives on.

Sure, Big Kids don't exactly provide their listeners with the most musically and lyrically ingenious work of the decadeā€¦ but who's really asking them to? Whenever these three punks decide to head back home to sunny California, they'll do so with enough new memories, friends and smiles last a lifetime, a fact that should inspire the rest of us that much more to make the most out of the years we've got. So if you're strapped for reasons to party, feeling a bit too old, or just aren't all that stoked on life, give Hoop Dreams a spin. What have you got to lose, aside from the best years of your life?



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
iFghtffyrdmns
April 13th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Stream it here: http://www.punknews.org/bands/bigkids

Made it to twenty reviews, nice. This is an awesome band/album that doesn't get nearly all the attention it deserves. Probably could have just as easily rated this a 4 because it's that fun.
Comments / criticisms always appreciated. Cheers.

marksellsuswallets
April 13th 2011


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah. One of these dudes is in Edhoculi, which is another awesome band if you care to check them out.

iFghtffyrdmns
April 13th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah man I know Edhoculi, they're pretty rad. The kid that actually showed me these guys is real big into Edhoculi too.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2011


7282 Comments


Great review. Pos.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

iFghtffyrdmns
April 13th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks Irv :]
check these guys out if you get the chance, they're a lot of fun

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


7282 Comments


They are not really my thing, but I'll keep it in mind =)

Connair
April 16th 2011


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent band. Excellent band.Excellent review. awesome

lancebramsay
April 16th 2011


1585 Comments


How much is this band like joyce manor?

Great review, here is a pos. Curious though, you used the word anthemic which is not actually a real word. Thing is, I used it in my latest review too without even reading this one... Are we psychically connected or something?

iFghtffyrdmns
April 17th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

well they're about to release a split together... I definitely think if you like Joyce Manor you'd enjoy this. Haha yeah anthemic isn't technically a word but you see it used on this site all the time and I don't think anyone's really too concerned. Idk but if we are get off my brainwave... I don't want you to know all my deep dark thoughts/secrets.

lancebramsay
April 17th 2011


1585 Comments


So you are voldemort and I'm harry?

iFghtffyrdmns
April 18th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Bumped my rating and the review's rating up to a 4 today, because really this is just that fun and enjoyable and feel-good(y) of an album, listen after listen after listen.

lancebramsay
April 20th 2011


1585 Comments


WOAH BRO. INFINITY IS A BIG NUMBER.

iFghtffyrdmns
August 14th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

RULES RULES RULES SO HARD zomg seeing these dudes in october so stoked

sixthgoldenticket
November 30th 2011


1176 Comments


BIG KIDS RULE EVERYONE ELSE DROOLS DEAL WITH IT

FelixCulpa
January 22nd 2013


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After really enjoying Phone Home for like more than a year I am finally listening to this. Tis' good.

FelixCulpa
January 22nd 2013


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ohh my god the Full House intro song cover is amazing!



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