Review Summary: the new sidekicks album is cool!
After The Sidekicks opened for Bomb the Music Industry last summer, I stepped outside for a moment because the basement was ***ing hot. After a few seconds I realized that their frontman was standing next to me. I deeply enjoyed their set and I even told him as much. He sort of smiled and said something like “cool” or “thanks” and kind of stepped away. That is all that went down and it was immensely awkward, but the important part of this was that I then recognized that this guy was just like me. Maybe for some people that thought would bring the music down to a lower level of uninspired amateurism, but hopefully it just increases the positive impact of the at least seemingly heartfelt music. The Sidekicks are one of those “punk” bands, I suppose. Their association with them is probably permanent, but to simply just cover them with that label would be tragic. Awkward Breeds
is a record like…for folks who like music made by musicians with drums and guitars and human voices and stuff. One of those records thinly disguised as a potentially bland pop-punk/rock album most likely until a very poignant moment on the album, which plays on the fifth track. In “1940’s Fighter Jet” the guitars get quiet and you realize that vocalist Steve Ciolek has something important to say and his crooning is getting all emo and the lines are catchy and then the song builds into a climax and two minutes and 47 seconds after the song starts you are ***ing irate, not just because it’s over, but because they didn’t flesh the song out a little more. I wanted my emotions milked for all they’re worth! Anyway, now they have your attention and eventually you come to the brilliant album closer “Daisy” and if you aren’t soulless, mentally defective, or Sputnikmusic user “sumyunguy” you will hit “repeat” and find that there isn’t a weak track to be found.
The songs could be about holding kittens underwater for all I care just keep the almost jangly guitars and contagious melodies coming. This stuff is perfect for staring out into the rain on a train, and it’s perfect for a family reunion, and it’s perfect for anything especially singing along, excuse me, “FREE LIKE THE SHOULDERS IN YOUR CLOTHES, FREE LIKE THE BIBLE YOU JUST STOLE! FREE LIKE THE HAND THAT YOU GRAB HOLD AND LET GO, LET GOOOOOO” When Mr. Ciolek really belts it he can sound like Rivers Cuomo. In fact, if you listen to “The Whale and Jonah” you will agree that it has to be a Pinkerton
B-side Weezer saved for later because Pinkerton
was already awesome and they knew they’d write Raditude
and needed at least a good song, but then The Sidekicks snuck into their house and pointed and were like “look” and Weezer looked and The Sidekicks snatched it really fast and Weezer looked back and said “what?” and The Sidekicks were like “oh I thought I saw something” and left with it and made hundreds
The band is still pushing away from their punk roots and have settled into a sweet spot with these last two full lengths, into a style that isn’t particularly different, but almost impossible to describe or compare. Awkward Breeds
is an immediately accessible listen that will then get better with each repeated listen. It’s power pop, it’s alternative punk, it’s whatever, go buy it you weirdos.